Dramatic Play in Early Childhood


Why Dramatic Play Is Important

By now, you may be asking yourself “What makes dramatic play so important that someone is devoting an entire blog to it? What makes this kind of play so special?”

Well, there are methods to this madness.

For starters, dramatic play is a key way for children to act out situations to gain experiences and better understandings of things around them. So it is a way for children to role play, understand others’ perspectives, problem solve, story tell, develop and foster imagination skills, develop and express feelings and self-confidence, and socialize…just to name a few benefits.

And of course, dramatic play at its core is a way for children to PLAY. And we all know how important play at all levels is important for children to experience!

In early childhood education, a lot of attention is put on child development domains. The domains are the areas in which children develop. The most common domains discussed in early childhood are the physical, cognitive, and social/emotional domains. They are also a great way at looking at the benefits of dramatic play.

To provide an answer as to why dramatic play is important, we can look at these three domains to determine benefits make-pretend play has for each. As Dr. Tammy R. Benson charts on the PBS website, some of the benefits of dramatic play in each domain are:

· Physical: increase in strength, overall fitness, motor skill development, health;

· Cognitive: increase in skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, planning, organizing, language, and overall academic success;

· Social and Emotional: enhanced development of cooperation, sharing, turn taking, less egocentrism, increase in prosocial values and self esteem, practice of appropriate social roles.

So as you can see, dramatic play is a worthwhile activity for all young children!

Source:

Benson, T. R. (2004, August). The importance of dramatic play. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://www.pbs.org/teachers/earlychildhood/articles/dramaticplay.html