When my eldest daughter turned four, I started to notice that she pretended to be someone else or something. She talked to her soft toys; doll and the bears and pretended to be the mom. And now, her little sister has started to join in and they usually had nice time in their pretend play.
(well, there were times when they bickered, shouting or hitting each other. I guess that's normal)
I've never been educated in the pre-school education but I had some experiences teaching
in a kindergarten when I was a student in UKM. I remember that I loved to bring my little soft toys to the class and the children can't wait to play with the toys. I used the toys as their rewards if they listenedto me and finished their writing in their workbook.(provided by their class teacher). They loved to use the toys in their pretend play.
So, what have I done to encourage my daughters the "pretend play"? The playcentre has
helped me with heaps of ideas since there are so many interesting materials that I never thought could be used in children play.
Here are some ideas for the "pretend play":
- Keep some clean rubbish like egg cartons, cardboard, tissue boxes etc.
- Give them your old clothes, scarves, hats, table cloth etc.
on the neck.
- Give them dolls, stuffed animals.
- Give them shopping bags, bagpacks or any kind of bags.
by using different bags.
- Give them unused lunchboxes, containers, dishes etc.
- Use any furniture in your house to be a ship, a car, a plane etc.
Would you like to know the benefits of "pretend play"?
- It helps our children to be creative. (promote thinking skills)
We can help by asking open ended questions to challenge them to think more. We can also
say "what about....., how about.... or what if......"
2. It helps our children in developing their language skills.
When they are pretending, they have to talk in a certain ways and you might be surprised
to hear what they've picked up from you!
3. It helps our children in building their social and emotional skills.
They learn to play certain roles when they are pretending. Socially they know that everyone
has their own function in the society. They would definitely learn about other children feelings
when they have to take turns or share some responsibilities in when they are pretending.
I hope that this entry would give some ideas to those who are reading this. I'm just glad to share
the things that I've learnt theoretically and practically from the playcentre and also from my own experiences dealing with my two princesses.