What is Dramatic Play?07:35
Dramatic play or role play is simply playing that has real life context behind it. Through this type of play children usually get into character, by dressing up or using props, and act out a role from the real world. When I was growing up I used to diagnose my friends from medical textbooks my mother had on the bookcase and borrow bandages for my stuffed animals broken paws!
Role play aids learning by enhancing children's knowledge on certain subjects - and the best part? They don't even know they are learning! What's not to love?! Children develop a real understanding of real life events, jobs and situations all through play and get to experience things in a safe and controlled manner. It can also help children overcome fears of certain situations - be it a social phobia or a fear of the dentist!
Socially, role playing helps increase children's confidence and communication skills. We often witness children exploring friendships outside their usual social circle when their role play interests match that of someone they don't normally socialise with. As they are in character, there are not the normal barriers to their communication. They learn to explore other cultures, other view points and act compassionately towards the other people in their game.
Creativity is key to role play so when setting up an area for costumes and props to be stored, get the kids involved. Something might be a hammer for the "builder" in the group but to another it might aid them playing "doctor". Explore with them the wonders of using a bit of imagination to makes props multifunctional - your bank balance will be grateful and you will have helped expand some young minds!
What dramatic play centers do you have set up? Which ones do your kiddos go crazy for?