The Importance of Imaginative Play in Childcare Centres
When we think of play, we often picture kids running around a playground, playing tag or jumping on the trampoline. These activities are important for children’s physical development, but there is a whole other kind of play that’s just as important for their cognitive and social skills – imaginative play. Imaginative play (also called dramatic or make-believe play) allows kids to step into someone else’s shoes, see the world from their perspective, and manipulate ideas and emotions through creative storytelling.
What are all 3 learning types?
Kids can become a superhero, doctor, ballerina or animal during imaginative play. It’s also common for them to reenact family and social situations or mimic the parents, teachers and other adults they see in their lives. This open-ended, imaginative style of play is a valuable part of the early childcare doncaster curriculum and provides lots of learning opportunities for kids.
Imaginative play is also a great way for children to develop their creativity and learn to be more independent. Research has found that children who engage in a lot of imaginative play are more likely to be creative individuals as they grow up. It’s thought that this creative play enhances children’s capacity for cognitive flexibility, which is needed to be able to come up with original solutions to problems.
To support imaginative play in your childcare centre, it’s a good idea to provide plenty of props like dress up clothes, toys that can be used for pretending, kitchen equipment and other resources that encourage kids to role play. However, it’s also important to remember that kids can get just as much fun from repurposing household items and creating their own resources (eg a sheet and chairs becomes a blanket fort).