“Imagination is more important than knowledge”
From around 18 months or so, children will start to use their imagination during play. It is also the start of what will hopefully be a lifelong curiosity to learn but this benefits from being nurtured.
Role play is an important part of child development as it builds confidence, creativity, communication, physical development and problem solving.
Role play can help a child develop self confidence as they have the opportunity to express themselves and explore language freely. Language skills are emerging and with it the ability to ask questions, and questions, and more questions. During play they can explore their feelings and find out about themselves and others. They also start to understand the need to develop co-operation, understanding of others and self control whilst playing with other children. Free play gives them the chance to make choices and decisions without the constraints of there being a right or wrong way of doing things.
Within role play a child will be able to operate within a fantasy world of their own making where creativity goes hand in hand with mathematical and science skills. Along with it being a fun activity, it also allows children to lose themselves in a character of their choice or they can act out real life roles. By allowing your child to act out real life situations you can help them learn about potentially stressful unknown situations, such as a visit to hospital. By role playing games at home beforehand you will better prepare them for real life.
Older toddlers can come and try our Junior class at Baby College where we have a new play theme each week and parents are given lots of ideas of how to encourage their child’s imagination and creativity