Why Dramatic Matters
Dramatic play is so incredibly important for any learning, growing and developing preschool child. This form of play allows children to pretend to be anyone they wish, and live out scenarios (whether realistic or fantasy) by dressing up, using dialogue, and creating appropriate motions and gestures according to their role. Here are some reasons why this form of play should be introduced sooner than later and how children of all ages and stages can benefit from it.
- It Promotes Speech Many children are in need of speech services today. Often times, this is because they aren’t exposed to dramatic play or discussions with caregivers early on. Dramatic play can teach songs, rhymes, and expose kids to sounds, new vocabulary-you name it. Kids are required to talk, in order to enjoy this form of entertainment. So, there is a lot to benefit from. Be sure to take part in this form of play with your younger toddlers, in order to help them form correct sounds, and watch your mouth as you model correct speech for them, especially if they are struggling.
- It Sparks Imagination Dramatic play allows your child to be anyone they want to be-a character from their favorite show, book, or even a family member. It requires them to get resourceful with their props, what they say, and how they “perform.” Be sure to offer them a wide variety of items to use and make believe with.
- It Offers an Emotional Outlet Sometimes, the act of pretending to be someone else allows your child to reflect on how they’re feeling, and have an outlet for those feelings. Talking about problems or concerns with others may be intimidating, but letting them out through the form of play seems less scary and daunting. Just be sure to keep a close eye on and ear out for what they are acting out so you can remain in the know about how they are feeling and what they are doing.
- It Teaches Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution Dramatic play, especially when others are involved; help refine your kids’ problem solving and conflict resolution skills. It teaches them to share, take turns speaking, listen, and think on their feet while acting/playing.
- It Gets Kids Out of Their Comfort Zone Today in the age of instant gratification (thanks to technology and television) kids are growing up in a very different world than our parents did. But, dramatic play forces kids to make their own action, and make their own fun. They control what is said, where to move, how to look, and what the overall outcome is from their form of play, which is not just new to them, but refreshing.
Dramatic play is a time for your child to let loose and be whoever they want to be. There’s no pressure, there’s no guidelines, and there’s no expectations. There’s nothing to lose, but tons to gain socially, emotionally, and developmentally. Plus, it’s just fun and it lets kids be kids!
Birdie Says: Consider creating a dramatic play station in your home. Place it in an area with a mirror and dresser filled with costumes, props, and other playthings that your child could use to imagine up a character or scenario. Also, when choosing a child care facility, inquire about how dramatic play is incorporated throughout the day there!