Dramatic play experiences are some of the first ways children learn about their likes and dislikes, their interests, and their abilities. They experiment with role playing and work to make sense out of what they’ve observed.
Just watch children playing with dolls to see examples of this. Dolls often become versions of the child himself and are a safe way for children to express new ideas and feelings. Dramatic play encourages expressive language.
Children are motivated to convey their wishes to others and speak from the perspective of their pretend roles. In fact, it is often through dramatic play that shy or withdrawn children first begin to express themselves through language.
Dramatic play allows children to differentiate between real and pretend. This is readily apparent when observing children using exaggerated voices to signal that they are playing their roles or in the child that announces, "It's just pretend."
It may seem as though a child who has spent several hours engaged in dramatic play has just been "playing around" and has nothing concrete to show for it. On the contrary, the kind of play where a child takes on a role, and learns to interact from within that role, is very valuable to her development.
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