Sunday, October 30, 2011

Family Dramas and Playing House

Family dramas are the ones most frequently re-enacted: toilet learning; being disciplined; bedtime; starting school; divorce; family discord; illness; moving; travel.

Kids want to emulate their parents and experience their roles. Playing house activities such as shopping, cooking, setting the table, laundering, tea parties, baby care, phone conversations, and dressing up are consistently played out. This is good preparation - or rehearsal - for nurturing a real family later on.

Children will often behave in a much more mature fashion when in dramatic play: pay greater attention in pretend school than real school; may sit still longer at a make-believe tea party than at the family's dinner table.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Expectations and Anticipation

Before children can have expectations and infer outcomes, they MUST have imagination. Fear and failure often precede pleasure and success. Kids can live through an event before it actually happens, by pretending.

Playing doctor is universally popular because it breaks down the fear of the unknown or being overpowered into manageable parts. The child playing doctor has the control; the child playing the patient also has control in fantasy. Likewise, a trip to the playground may mean having to encounter the gruff dog down the street. By pretending, the child is able to face the good, the bad and the ugly and prepare for all three.

A child can anticipate what will happen by mirroring the real situation and is able to control expectations because she is the writer, actor and director all in one. As children mature, they live more and more in the future. They are able to delay gratification, set goals and define their expectations through dramatic play.

For more information on dramatic play and how it can be a part of your home or classroom, visit our website

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dramatic Play - Disappointments, Change, and Empathy

Disappointments and Change
Changes in plans or routines may be devastating to children. They thrive on routine, and when it is interrupted they may fall apart. Prociessing out disappointment and change through dramatic play helps ease the stress.

The development of joint purpose and cooperation that dramatic play affords children is a jupstart for their social skills and sense of empathy. Sibling who pretend together are more cooperative and better at negotiation. They tend to discuss thoughts and feelings more frequently.

For more information on dramatic play and its benefits for children, visit our website! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dramatic Play - Bonding and Daydreams

Bonding - 
Children often form or maintain relationships best through dramatic play, especially if they have siblings of different ages. Often siblings will tolerate one another only in make-believe and not in realism. Babyish behavior - a source of irritation to an older child - will be encouraged if the younger child plays the baby's role and that "baby" will cheerfully abide limitations and without resentments when being babyish is the expected, required behavior.

Daydreams and Fantasies -
When children leave the preschool years, their imagination begins to work in daydreams and fantasies, which continue throughout the rest of their lives. Daydreams and fantasies are used for escape, vicarious thrills, revenge, wish fulfillment, even for brainstorming and inventiveness... and they continue throughout life.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Aggression and Hostility

Children will express any conflicts and irritations they  feel and make them more manageable through dramatic play. Adults are often shocked at the drastic measures and verbiage to which children resort to express their hostile feelings. Dolls are a primary focus for coming to grips with negative feelings and being in power. The challenge of adjusting to a new sibling is often lightened when feelings - both acceptable and unacceptable - can be taken out on a doll. Anger can be released safely.

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