Why is pretend play important to your child’s development?
It was Einstein who said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."
Make-believe is where thinking out of the box begins for child development. As children enter the game of pretend play, they learn about themselves and the world around them. They can work out confusing, stressful situations or new life issues which create anxiety. Information and ideas can be processed in different ways and kids can learn about creative problem solving. Pretend play provides your child with a diversity of problems to unravel. Teaching children to find solutions or to work out issues in creative play also boosts self-esteem and gives them the necessary tools for life.
Children can develop important social skills and advanced thinking strategies, which boosts self-esteem and confidence. Your child builds self-esteem when he realises he can be anything just by pretending. Through play, he learns to take turns; to consider others’ perspectives; shares responsibility; learns to negotiate; develop a plan and act on it. When your child pretends to be someone else, he has the experience of being in someone else’s shoes, which helps teach empathy. It’s normal and essential that children go through phases of only thinking about themselves. It helps them root themselves firmly in their own foundation of safety before they can take on the world. Through maturation and play your child will begin to understand the feelings of others. They learn to express themselves and listen to thoughts and ideas.
Play is the most effective mode for a young child’s learning. It is a vital step for healthy physical, emotional, and mental development. Encouraging children’s imaginative play is one of the most important contributions you can make to their education and development during these crucial early years.