IMPORTANCE OF PRETEND PLAY
Whenever children say ‘let’s pretend’, a new landscape of possibilities is revealed. When children pretend, they try on new feelings, roles and ideas. They stretch their minds along with their imagination. – Curtis & Carter.
I am a doctor now… Let’s play teacher…. and so on.. the role plays continues. These conversations as so typically heard among children everywhere, especially during the early childhood years. Pretend play or role play, all of it means the same. Researchers believe that pretend play helps in the development of cognitive and social abilities.
Psychologist Sandra Russ (2004) identified a number of different cognitive and affective processes that are associated with pretend play. The research reviewed by Berk, Mann & Ogan, (2006) and Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff, Berk, & Singer (2009) suggest that make-believe games are forerunners of the important capacity for forms of self-regulation including reduced aggression, delay of gratification, civility, and empathy.
An important benefit of early pretend play may be its enhancement of the child’s capacity for cognitive flexibility and, ultimately, creativity (Russ, 2004; Singer & Singer, 2005). Studies have demonstrated cognitive benefits such as increases in language usage including subjunctives, future tenses, and adjectives.
Parents and teachers can encourage pretend play by keeping in mind Vygotsky’s concept of scaffolding. According Bodorva 2008, who used the Tools of the mind Curriculum, which is based on Vygotsky’s concept of scaffolding proves that cognitive control can be achieved if teachers complex make-believe play, guiding children in jointly planning of play scenarios before enacting them. Teachers also lead rule-switching games in which regular movement patterns shift often, requiring flexibility of attention.
To be continued…
By Dr Srividya K