Why Children Need Pretend Play

Why Children NEED Pretend Play

Do you find it hard to make time for your children to play?  Or when your children do have time to play, do they grab a tablet and start swiping to open an app or watch a video?  Children NEED time to play in the real world.  It is so important for childhood development to learn the skills needed in their futures.  In our fast-paced world, it can be very difficult to set aside time for children to experience free play.  But as parents, we must make an effort to allow our children time to play, especially pretend play.  Pretend play provides many experiences for children across different developmental areas.

Here are 5 reasons why children NEED pretend play:

  1. Opportunities to practice new life skills in a safe environment.  Children can practice caring for baby dolls, going to the doctor, feeding pets and more all within one play scene.
  2. Provide social interactions between other children.  During pretend play children need to cooperate and take turns.
  3. Expand expressive and receptive language skills and early literacy skills.  Children expand their vocabulary as they discuss all the different words during imaginative play.  Read here about how to focus on pretend play to help with early literacy skills.
  4. Provides motor skills practice.  Children have to use fine motor skills, gross motor skills and visual perceptual skills when managing props during pretend play.
  5. Develops IMAGINATION!  Research indicates that participating in fantasy-oriented play may be one way to directly enhance executive function development.

If you want to encourage your children to play pretend, here are several resources to help jump-start play time.  Just print and your child will be filled with ideas to enhance their pretend play!

Why Children Need Pretend Play