Dramatic Play

When I moved from 1st grade to kindergarten I was shocked at the lack of dramatic play in kindergartens here in Utah. When I asked a teacher why they didn't include it, she said, "with our curriculum and only half a day, I simply don't have time for it". While I can see the concern there, I maintain that I don't have time to leave out dramatic play. Play has so many benefits for young children and it is becoming a lost art of childhood. I can't imagine my program without it!

I just changed my dramatic play area to the 3 Bears Cottage. Today the children acted out the story in their own creative ways. One group had three daddy bears and one Goldilocks. It was wonderful to see the way they worked out their own problems to satisfy everyone's wants and needs.

Here are more benefits of play:

Stimulates Thinking:
Dramatic play will stimulate children's minds and promote advanced intellectual development! It also is a great way for children to expand experiences through reenacting events. These reenactments allow experiences to make more sense and have more meaning, paving the way for future academic success.

Define Social Roles:
Dramatic play helps children learn social roles and rules, and offers time to practice such social morays as sharing, taking turn, communicating to inform or persuade, and resolving conflicts, and cooperation.

Creativity and Imagination:
When children are engaged in dramatic play, they can be anyone that they want to be and can even do the impossible! This type of play encourages children to use their imagination and to be creative, as there are no limits. This creative ability will aide students throughout their lives as they become creative and learn to solve problems.

Builds Emotional Strength:
Young children have a hard time understanding and controlling feelings. By engaging in creative play, children can learn to manage and understand certain feelings by re-enacting episodes. Dramatic play can also enhance children's ability to empathize with other people.

Develops Language:
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 In fact, it is often through dramatic play that shy or withdrawn children first begin to express themselves through language.

For more information on the subject. Check this out:
NPR on play
Miami University on play
Scientific American on play