Discover the benefits of pretend play for children with toys. If you are a parent then you may be wanting to know if pretend play is good for children or if it can cause them to lose sight of what’s real. There is a substantial amount of scientific evidence that demonstrates both in theory and empirically that pretend play for children is extremely beneficial. Many parents may see creativity or imagination as something positive while they may see pretend play as simply something that takes up a child’s time when they have nothing else to do.
At What Age Do Children Begin To Pretend Play?
Most evidence suggests that children will begin to pretend play at age 2 and they will continue to do so to the greatest extent when they begin to interact on a regular basis with other children. This can very often be seen when a child is interacting with other children and on a regular basis, they assert the fact that they are pretending to do something or be someone.
There are some that reach a deep state of pretend play and when this happens they are completely absorbed in their character and they don’t explain that they are pretending. The average child will imitate cartoon characters and others that they find appealing and they will simply become absorbed in that character and for the duration, they will stay in that character without explaining the fact that it is pretend. By all indications, this type of pretend play is unquestioningly healthy for children.
How Does Pretend Play Help My Child?
A child’s mind is still in its development stage and therefore they have not fully formulated all of their ideas, beliefs, and opinions. When a child pretend plays they’re able to allow themselves to experience deeper feelings such as sadness or euphoria as well as fear and pain and yet these experiences are in a safe place because they’re in the land of pretend play. During pretend play, one child may be pretending to be sick while another child pretends to be a doctor or an EMT or a policeman, and they will go through the process of negotiating what should be done in that particular situation.
For an average child, if there was a real situation such as that, the experience may be overwhelming for them but in the land of pretend play they are in a safe place emotionally and therefore they can grow and develop through that process. It has been effectively demonstrated that children through the process of pretend play will develop more skill at expressing their genuine feelings and this can greatly aid in a child developing as a well-adjusted child capable of showing and expressing what they feel in a given situation.
Can Parents Be Involved In Pretend Play?
It is highly recommended the parents on a routine basis engage in pretend play with their children. It’s a great opportunity for the child and the parent to be involved in something that is very fun for the child and yet gives the child an opportunity to show a wide range of emotions and feelings without the child being concerned about those feelings or emotions. Pretend play can also help in a child’s development and understanding towards information. As an example, a parent presents the idea that a small pillow is a shark and some other small items are small fish and then the child and the parent engage in pretend play where the shark eats the fish. The child learns that this is the shark’s source of food and nourishment.
At What Age Does A Child Distinctively Understand The Difference Between Pretend And Real?
Almost from the beginning, a child will understand there’s a difference between pretend play and the things that happened in real life. This is demonstrated by the fact that they will often stop and explain or remind other children that they are pretending. But between the age of 3 and 5 is when children will have a distinctive understanding between the difference and they will often question those things that are pretend versus what they understand to be real life.
At this age, many children will begin to focus more on sociodramatic pretend play rather than on more fantastic and unbelievable pretend play. A young daughter may want to have a tea party with their father and use their dollhouse and toy tea set rather than engaging in something more fantastical such as playing as though they can fly. When a child does engage in fantastical pretend play, then it is very often more just for fun than when they are engaging in more plausible pretend play.
Do Parents Need To Worry If Their Child Has An Imaginary Friend?
It is worrisome to many parents when their child develops an imaginary friend. This can make some parents wonder if their child is lost and delusional. The reality is that children who have imaginary friends are significantly more imaginative and creative than children who do not. When children who had imaginary friends become adults, they significantly outperform children who did not have an imaginary friend.
Parents should know that if their child begins interacting with an imaginary friend that it is perfectly okay and there’s no reason for concern. It’s also important for parents to let teachers know that their child has an imaginary friend and that it’s okay and nothing to be concerned about. This type of pretend play gives a great many opportunities for the child to experience a variety of situations in a safe environment and children with these imaginary friends very often grow up to be highly well-adjusted and creative individuals.
Children who actively engage in pretend play are significantly more well adjusted than those who are discouraged from doing so. It can be just for fun, but it also helps a child to deal with emotions and circumstances with-in a safe environment. Encouraging a child to engage in pretend play helps them to develop creatively as well as giving them the chance to experience a range of positive and negative emotions in a safe environment.