Advice Column, Dibber SA, Early Learning, Education, Recently, Toddler

The power of  play  is real 

  • Category Advice Column, Dibber SA, Early Learning, Education, Recently, Toddler

With the focus on Youth in June, Dibber International Preschools  emphasises the importance of pretend  play in childhood development. Ursula Assis, Country Director, urges parents and educators not to overlook  the  power  of  play  amidst  the pursuit of academic achievements. “While the focus on achieving specific learning outcomes is important, it’s equally crucial to recognise the role of imaginative play in a child’s holistic development,” says Assis.

The Significance of  Pretend Play

Pretend  play, or imaginative  play, is a vital  part of childhood that goes beyond mere entertainment. It is integral to the developmental process, helping children explore and understand the world around them. “Engaging in pretend play allows children to use their creativity while developing critical cognitive, social, and emotional skills,” Assis explains. 

Stages of Pretend Play and Developmental Milestones

Pretend  play  evolves as children grow, with each stage corresponding to specific developmental milestones:

  • Symbolic  Play (18 to 24 months): Toddlers begin to understand object substitution, such as using a block as a phone.
  • Dramatic  Play (2.5 to 3 years): Children start to enact familiar experiences, often using dolls or stuffed animals to represent people they know.
  • Role-Playing (3 years and up): Children adopt various roles from their everyday lives, enhancing their ability to navigate social situations.
  • Imaginary Objects (3 to 4 years): Preschoolers engage with elements that are not physically present, like pretending to drink from an empty cup.
  • Pretend Play with Others (3 to 4 years): This stage involves interaction with peers, where children begin to cooperate and negotiate roles in a shared play scenario.
  • Fantasy Play (4 years and up): Children delve into more complex, imaginative scenarios, often involving magical or fantastical elements.
  • Imaginary Friends (4 to 5 years): The creation of imaginary companions helps children explore different aspects of their personality and the world.

The Benefits of Pretend Play

Pretend  play is more than just fun. It provides essential benefits that contribute to a child’s development:

  • Creative and Critical Thinking: Children learn to think creatively and solve problems while navigating their invented scenarios.
  • Communication and Social Skills: Engaging in role-play  enhances verbal and  non-verbal  communication, teaching children to express themselves clearly and understand others.
  • Emotional Intelligence: By acting out different roles, children  develop empathy and the ability to manage their own emotions.
  • Self-Regulation and Conflict Resolution: Pretend  play  often requires children to follow rules they set for themselves, helping them develop self-discipline and negotiation skills.

Celebrating Youth Month with a Focus on Well-being

This June, Dibber International Preschools celebrates the intrinsic value of play in education. “It’s essential that we provide our children with ample opportunities to engage in pretend  play. This  not only  supports their immediate happiness and satisfaction  but also  contributes to their long-term well-being and success,” concludes Assis.


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One Comment

  • Portia Bandezi June 24, 2024 at 9:59 am

    Very informative Article,thank you 🙏


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