Sunday, September 25, 2011

Play That Has Meaning is Sure to be Repeated

The roots of pro-social behavior such as nurturing, caring and sharing (better expressed as "taking turns") begin in pretend play as children practice affection and sympathy. Their expressions of anti-social behaviors like physical aggression, verbal abusiveness, and violence also play a valid part in make-believe.

Children need to, and will, be flexible in their pretend play to manipulate concepts they are just beginning to grasp.

Children will repeat actions and dialog over and over with or without modifications. They may act out something unfamiliar to cope with their fear and anxiety to gain more understanding and release negative energy, or they may relive very familiar joys and pleasures and release positive energy. Kids need to repeat situations again and again to minimize the accompanying negative or positive stresses. Kids will often exaggerate their roles. When playing "baby" they can express jealous feelings safely, and still recognize how much better it is to be the older sibling. This is their way of interpreting the known and unknown environments and trying out what they think is versus what really is.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Categories and Forms of Pretending

As pretending increases in a child's life, the subject matter  changes. The three categories most often displayed are:
  • Personification (speaking to and for dolls, stuffed toys, inanimate objects)
  • Imaginative Use of Materials (drinking out of a cup, shaving, carrying a purse)
  • Participation in Make-Believe Situations (visiting the doctor, keeping house, putting out fires)
All Children like stories about animals, boys like adventures, girls enjoy home life and domestic happenings.

There are many forms of pretending - each has its own value:
  • Talking to self/monologue/stream of consciousness
  • Informal, spontaneous dialog between two people
  • Extemporaneous role-playing, alone or cooperatively
  • Solo performance or pretending alone
  • Pantomime of a well-known story
  • Dramatization of a storybook with or without a supporting cast
  • Improvised skit
  • Role-playing
  • Scripted play
  • Factual re-enactment
  • Group collaboration
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Children Learn from Pretending

By pretending and engaging in dramatic play, children are able to:

  • Act out real life or imaginary roles, playing alone or with other children, without the accompanying stress of responsibility. 
  • Stimulate and express their thinking, creativity, and imagination by manipulating and rearranging their environments and experiences.
  • Escape from the limits of being little, weak, or naive. 
  • Experiment, explore and extend their boundaries of experience, size, strength, time, space and login. 
  • Build self confidence with opportunities to feel important, to support or repair their self-esteem, feel less helpless, more in power. 
  • Challenge their own thinking and resourcefulness.
  • Focus on new concepts and ideas an integrate them into their lives
  • See what it feels like to temporarily be someone else by acting out what another person might say and do.
  • Enhance their communication skills: vocabulary, comprehension, speaking, attention span, listening to and following directions. 
  • Clarify their feelings and vent their problems by putting them into words.
  • Express their ideas, needs, feelings, fears and fantasies safely.
  • Neutralize negative, aggressive, destructive feelings by releasing unacceptable impulses.
  • Prepare for grown-up roles by imitating many different adults. 
  • Lean about different situations, people, animals and places.
  • Work out their fears, problems, resolve issues, experiment with solutions, make sense of confusion.
  • Test limits, take risks, reverse usual roles, act out anti-social behaviors.
  • Develop a sense of morality and pro-social behaviors. 
  • Gain knowledge about social relationships and understand themselves better.
  • Enhance cooperation, and take turns as they plan and work together.
  • Discriminate between reality and fantasy by bringing them together in play. 
  • Experience similarity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Cultivate senses of belonging, joint purpose and cooperation. 
The benefits of dramatic play are endless! For more information, visit our website!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Health and Career Dressups!

These dressups are especially designed with realistic details. The dressups instill high self-esteem while allowing creativity and fun. They are made with Velcro closures in the back. Easiest dressups to put on and take off.

Cotton blend, machine washable, highly durable, one size fits 2 to 7 years - boys or girls.
Will not fade, lose color or shrink, kids love them. Sold individually or in a set. Matching hats included in price.

Visit our site to learn more!