Tips to Encourage Pretend Play at Home
Playing is an important aspect of a child's life and pretend play has its own set of benefits. The more a child is encouraged to use their imaginations in play; the more creative will they become and the more established they can become when they become adults. The most important benefits of pretend play include:
- Development of social skills
- Learning new skills through play
- Practice speech and problem solving
- Exposure and understanding of various emotions
Pretend play has helped children with special needs as well. While some children can pretend and play on their own, some children need to be encouraged. But how would you encourage your child to engage in pretend play? Here are some quick tips:
Cheer and Encourage
Applaud your child's efforts to create a world of her own. If she is acting like a princess, admire her beauty and her elegance and pretend as if you also belong to her make belief world. You can encourage further by offering better props. Open-ended toys make the best props since the children can use their imaginations and turn them into meaningful things. Always let your child be on the forefront; never try to modify their thoughts.
Books help children boost their imaginations. When you read books to your children, you introduce them to new characters and new situations. Your child may ask you to read the same book many times; this helps them remember the information and create a new world of their own and get themselves into the situation. Ask open ended questions as you read the stories. You can also make your own stories and ask your child to add a portion to it. To keep the child engaged make sure you maintain the same level of energy and enthusiasm throughout.
Give Some Time
Not every child is the same and not every child is comfortable with pretend play. Never make the mistake of comparing your child to other children; this will only make your child even more introvert. Rather encourage your child to meet other children who are good at pretend play. If your child is not comfortable on the very first day, allow her to sit and watch other children play.
You can also create an environment and engage in some pretend play with your child. Ask your child to help you create the scene and make the props. You need to do everything that will develop the interest in your child.
Keep things simple; children have amazing imaginative powers and they can turn a simple thing into something stunning. Provide open ended toys and talk about pretend plays. Share your childhood stories about pretend play and tell them how much fun you had with your friends. Research shows that children who are taught to use toys in a specific manner are less engaged and less likely to experiment with the toys compared to children who were given the opportunity to explore the toys themselves. So in order to encourage independent thinking and nurture the imagination, it is necessary that you provide the necessary space and time to your children.