Top 5 Benefits of Pretend Play
"Imagination is more important than knowledge generally.
For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand,
while imagination embraces the entire world,
and all there ever will be to know and understand." - Albert Einstein
Paper airplanes. Dolls. Sticks. Wooden blocks. A piece of cloth & a plain rock. Who has not enjoyed these simple toys during the primetime of their childhood? Looking back, you may realize how simple these toys could be yet they made you genuinely happy & innovative!
Fast forward today, it seems that most of us take "pretend-playing" for granted. This is due to the widely mass produced battery & electronic toys that are readily available to soothe & entertain our little ones. Little that we know, we are not helping them innovate on their own, improvise on something that they already have or inventing their own play. Studies show that children who are more exposed to pretend playing tend to become more innovative, patient, lesser tendencies to have tantrums, & more experienced when it comes to "delayed gratification", which means that they know they can't get what they want easily, and they need to work hard or find a way in order to achieve it!
Most of the best pretend toys are the simplest ones (repeat one more time please). Open-ended toys such as a piece of rock, cloth, stick or wood will do. Dolls, wooden blocks & pretend food toys are good ones too. It makes role-playing more realistic & colorful. It doesn't need to be complicated.
We are strong advocates of pretend playing in our household and below are the top 5 reasons why:
1. It teaches your child to think from different perspectives.
- When your child pretends to be someone else, he has the experience of "walking in someone else's shoes," which helps to teach the important moral development skill of empathy. It is normal for young children to see the world from their own egocentric point of view, but through maturation and cooperative play, your child will begin to understand the feelings of others. Social skills such as negotiating, reading social cues, self-restraint, decision-making, sharing, caring & taking turns are also being developed through the entire process.
2. It teaches your child to be patient.
- With all the modern gadgets today, we could get easily get what we want. Just a quick swipe using our smartphones & tablets, everything is fast phased and our kids today get used to it which results them to easily get bored. The virtue of patience are often taken for granted which does not allow our children's mind to explore & become innovative on their own. This is the reason why pretend play is essential because the child will have an opportunity to work up their imagination & find their way to entertain themselves creatively.
3. It develops your child's language skills.
- Think about this for a minute: Have you ever listened in as your child engages in imaginary play with his toys or friends? You will probably hear some words and phrases you never thought they knew! In fact, we often hear our own words reflected in the play of our children. Children can do a perfect imitation of their parents and teacher! Pretend play helps your child understand the imaginative power of language. In addition, by pretend playing with others, they learn that words give them the means to reenact a story or organize play. This process helps your child to make the connection between spoken and written language — a skill that will later help them learn to read.
4. It encourages your child's creativity & imagination.
- Imagination is unlimited! They could be anyone who they want to be & can be anywhere they want to be! They could innovate & improvise anything from scratch which is a life essential skill that will be very useful for them in the future.
5. It develops your child's problem solving skills.
- With a variety of problems to solve, pretend play provides them to your children's imagination. Whether it is two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right material to make a roof for the playhouse, your children calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that they will use in every aspect of their life.
Little A's Pretend Toys - All Time Favorites
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