Dramatic Play

Dramatic Play is for both boys and girls and their imaginations can be very entertaining and enlightening! ūüôā school pics 014 In the picture above we see a table setting for desert, yet it doesn’t really matter what materials or props you have available for a kitchen area, because young children will use almost anything to represent what they want. ¬†Both boys and girls benefit from having an area that daily living skills can be practiced. ¬†Young children observe their families grocery shopping and cooking all the time, so it is natural that they can easily fall into role play if a kitchen area is set up. When young boys and girls engage in role play they are¬†reenacting the behaviors of their parents, grandparents or¬†guardians¬†while at the grocery store or in the kitchen preparing meals.¬†¬†¬†And if you were wondering, yes, that means they do often times repeat the conversations they overhear. ¬†In their young minds they make sense of whatever the adults around them discuss. ūüôā ¬†So be aware of what you say around your young child because what you discuss may become part of the role play they engage in when in the midst of dramatic play. ¬†Don’t worry, I have always interrupted any dialogue that I found to not be appropriate and¬†steered¬†the children in a different direction by bringing attention back to what they are actually¬†working on together. school pics 012¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Like any other interest area when I am able to observe and listen to the conversations the children are having while in the midst of play, I can gather a lot of information on what interests they each have. ¬†From that information I can plan an “emerging curriculum”. ¬†Whenever children have internal interest in what they are engaging in, learning becomes much more meaningful to them and we can dive deeper into the content areas. ¬†A strong foundation for a school career starts with early learning environments that support a child’s natural curiosities and abilities to engage in multiple projects. ¬†Dramatic play enables young minds to role play any ideas or experiences they have in their day to day lives. ¬†As a Teacher it is my responsibility to provide as many opportunities as I can to extend their interests. school pics 021¬†¬†Whether your school is large or small does not matter because Dramatic Play is a¬†necessity¬†to a well rounded early education that pays close attention to the whole¬†child’s developmental needs. ¬†My preschool is small and only has eight spots each day, yet all areas are designed for multiple ways of expressing dramatic play. ¬†Children can enact certain roles in a kitchen area, or with wooden dolls and with pen and paper through story telling. ¬†Role play is a natural part of dramatization and can represent real life or imaginary experiences. ¬† Through the years I have read that young children’s behavior is similar to “obsessive compulsive” behavior, yet it is a very natural part of human development and is not a “psychological condition” when young children express this behavior. ¬†Repeating the same roles and actions each role requires through a child’s mind is a normal part of childhood development that enable him/ her to practice life skills until they have mastered those skills to their own satisfaction. (I am not a¬†psychologist¬†so if you want to know more about mental health issues in adults and children you will have to seek¬†another source preferably in the medical profession. ūüôā )

Take the time to watch how happy and excited your child or students are each time they engage in dramatic play and take on roles they really enjoy. ¬†You will see the change in their self confidence if they are allowed to express these natural developmental skills. ūüôā

Please share your Dramatic Play spaces and experiences!  I would love to read all about them!

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

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