Dramatic Play in Early Childhood Education
Benefits of Dramatic Play
Children love to play pretend. Walk into a children playroom or classroom, and you are likely to see children playing as chefs, doctors, or race car drivers. While this type dramatic play is common among children, it can have a purpose greater than simple entertainment. Five of the most significant benefits of dramatic play are discussed on rasmussen.edu. These five benefits are:
- Dramatic play teaches self-regulation
- Dramatic play gives children an emotional outlet
- Dramatic play teaches conflict resolution
- Dramatic play supports literacy
- Dramatic play allows children to be supported in their ideas
I think we can all agree that these are benefits we would love our children to gain. And our children can, and do, earn these benefits through dramatic play. The first three benefits on the list are earned because, when playing dramatically, situations arise that require self-regulation. Children are also able to play out what they have seen, which provides an effective emotional outlet. And, disagreements are bound to happen. Thus, they learn how to resolve those disagreements.
Now, the fourth on the list: literacy. This benefit is explained quite well on rasmussen.edu. It says, “Kids who are playing grocery store, for example, will be exposed to text in the form of a shopping list, coupons and a checkout receipt. This gives them a chance to gain firsthand experience with the many ways we use text in everyday life”. Thus, dramatic play provides children with more experiences seeing and using written text. And this only aids in increasing literacy.
Number five on the list is where parents and teachers can play a large role. “Kids process their inner thoughts and emotions externally through dramatic play. That means you can learn a lot about what makes your kids happy, scared or frustrated just through observing their pretend play” (rasmussen.edu). Simply by paying attention and being a part of our children’s dramatic play, we can learn what makes them tick. We can be better parents and teachers by applying what we learn from them and using it to teach, encourage, and care for them.
Building Kidz and Dramatic Play
At Building Kidz, we don’t simply encourage dramatic play-it’s built into our curriculum for each and every age group. Whether in the infant or school age room, toddler or pre-k classrooms, each of our children will have toys that encourage dramatic play. During free play time, they are able to interact in dramatic play with their peers. On top of that, the built-in dramatic play is often facilitated by a caring teacher. This teacher guides the dramatic play so that students are able to glean the benefits listed above. If children are having struggles self-regulating, or resolving conflicts, our teachers are there to help. They are able to use dramatic play to help children better understand how to work through these difficult situations.
Each and every day, children at Building Kidz gain the numerous benefits of dramatic play. Benefits that will bring them success now and in the future.