Encourage your child to use her imagination — it’s not just fun, but builds learning skills too! Young children learn by imagining and doing. Have you ever watched your child pick up a stone moral development in preschool age pretend it is a zooming car, or hop a Lego across the table as if it were a person or a bunny? Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve.
When your child pretends to be different characters, he has the experience of “walking in someone else’s shoes,” which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. 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 he knew! In fact, we often hear our own words reflected in the play of children.
Kids can do a perfect imitation of mom, dad, and the teacher! Pretend play helps your child understand the power of language. In addition, by pretend playing with others, he learns that words give him the means to reenact a story or organize play. Pretend play provides your child with a variety of problems to solve.
Whether it’s two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right material to make a roof for the playhouse, your child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever. Does your child enjoy a bit of roughhousing? Not enough pretend play at your house? Consider creating a prop box or corner filled with objects to spark your preschooler’s fantasy world.
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