Why Pretend Play Is Good for Kids

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Published: 14th December 2010
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The playtime experts at Toys 'R' Us and DisneyStore.com understand that pretend play is important for children's development. Using toys that inspire imagination will not only entertain your children in the short term, but will also engage them and develop learning and social skills that will benefit them in their future. Here are a few ways that playing pretend creates a very real future for your child.

Social Development

When a little girl plays make believe, she is learning how to interact socially. This can be apparent when she is playing with other friends or by herself. The same is true of little boys who use water pistols to play war. When playing on their own, children have to use dialogue for each person playing make believe in their game, forcing them to learn both sides of a conversation. If the child is playing pretend with a playmate, he is forced to learn about compromise and interactive conversation. These basic conversational skills will develop into advanced communication abilities that help your child communicate effectively.

Creating Imagination

Using toys that do not tell your child a story or guide your child's play process will force him to create play scenarios of his own. You will see that when the children have these crutches removed from them and are forced to create the play scenarios on their own, they become incredibly creative. Children can dream up unrealistic and fantasy like play games that sets their young imaginations on fire. Learning how to be creative and think outside of the box will inspire imagination skills that will be beneficial later in life no matter what professional path your child takes.

Problem Solving

You can also watch as your child learns problem solving skills through pretend play. This one may be harder to understand at first than fostering imagination or encouraging social development; a pretend play situation always has a problem to overcome. The princess must be freed of her dragon capture, or the war soldier must win the battle. These pretend conflicts lead your child to find a problem solving method. While the route to solve the problem may be unreasonable or even impossible, the learning element occurring is that your child is learning how to form a method for problem solving, how to put it to action, and how to gage success or failure in the pursuit of reaching a goal.

The fundamental lessons that are learned by doing this can laterally translate into learning to pick up toys in order to gain a parent's approval or in learning to make new friends. You should talk with your child during pretend play to guide his path through the problem solving method.

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