Dramatic Play in Early Childhood


Hi! I’m Steph and am a senior Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. As an Early Childhood Education and Writing Arts dual major, one of the classes I am taking this semester is Writing, Research, and Technology. This blog is a graded requirement for this course.


To make the most out of the project, I have decided to use the technology to research and talk about a big area of interest for me as an Early Childhood major: dramatic play. For young children, dramatic play is a major way for them to practice roles, gain experiences, socialize, and of course play. Because dramatic play – also called make-believe and pretend play – is such an important element in the development of young children, I feel that I should know about the research on the topic and generally what it is all about. So I have created this blog to help others learn about dramatic play with me. Here, I will talk about some of the key elements of this kind of play and provide some ideas to facilitate it with young children both at home and school.


Dramatic play is an important topic for me. The obvious reason is because I am an Early Childhood Education major. As a future teacher, I want to be knowledgeable about topics related to childhood development; this definitely includes how children play! Also, I am currently a nanny for three little boys. From my experiences, I know the basics of dramatic play and have seen it in action. But I want to know more. And in beginning to look up this topic online, I was disappointed about how much I had to dig for quality information. So hopefully I can muddle through all that information to gain a better knowledge-base on the topic and present it all here for you in one place. So parents, teachers, and anyone else interested in child development and dramatic play, jump on in and visit back soon for some great information!





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  1. * Elizabeth Mogtader says:


    You have done a wonderful job on this blog. In fact, you have touched on a subject of great importance, not only to those in early childhood settings, but to those in therapeutic settings as well.

    I worked as a Child Life Director and a Pediatric Nurse for many years. (about thirty years to be exact). As you may know, Child Life Programs are designed to meet the emotional and developmental needs of children in health care settings. In setting up a therapeutic play room on a pediatric unit, it is vital to incorporate many different aspects of play. Central to this, is the establishment of a dramatic play space. In reality, it is a physical space, delineated often by sets of props etc. but in actuality, the dramatic play extends beyond those limits to the ‘work’ of dealing with the stress of hospitalization and illness. You are absolutely correct, many different props and themes are necessary, but also, can not appear chaotic and overwhelming. It takes a skilled person of focus to balance the two, and adjust, readjust, and allow the space to grow as the need(s) change.

    Dramatic play allows the child, and also the parents, to play out themes in metaphor and fantasy. It encourages them to use their ‘creative self’ to deal with the stresses of hospitalization. It is manageable, they are in control, when everything else in their world can be out of their control. They decide where and when to proceed, and how to prioritize.

    I have seen so many wonderful vignettes played out over the years which speaks to the power of this imaginative play.

    I agree with you, more is needed in this area (I also am from South Jersey) to address the power of play, and the dramatic role it can ‘play’ in the true and often complex lives of the children we service. Elizabeth

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago

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