Imaginative play is a play that encourages a child to use his or her imagination. To pretend to be something or someone else, to set imaginary tasks and carry them out using props and symbolically changing them to fit in with the play. This process can be played out alone, or as part of a group. Imaginative play is not just a way to have fun it can also be used to create scenarios that may cause a child to have anxieties, such as a trip to the dentist, doctors or a holiday. It can also be beneficial in preparation of any major life changing event, such as going to school, moving house, a new baby and all the transitions they will face in life. It is thought that prior to all these events the use of role play, puppets and props to create the pretend scenario, acting out the scenario step by step including every last detail that the child ...view middle of the document...
The use of puppets creating the scenario when one puppet has upset the other and explaining in a way a child understands why the puppet is upset. Also encouraging the child to comfort the sad puppet this should encourage the child to show empathy. By placing the rouge puppet into time out this will introduce the child to consequence. Many different cognitive strategies are show during pretence play, such as negotiation, problem solving, goal seeking and joint planning.
Pretend play is thought to engage many parts of the brain as there are so many parts to the process, these include, emotional, cognitive language and sensimotor actions. And so the development of synaptic connections may be promoted. A major question for researchers is whether this play does in fact encourage this development system ? Or does the experience of pretence have a casual affect on the child’s development of cognitive and language abilities. This question is still under study.
Nichol and Stitch propose their theory which suggests that there is a separate mental work place within the human brain that can explain the phenomenon of pretence. I would personally like to believe this theory but there is no evidence to support it.
Early research has linked mathematics readiness, linguistic/literacy and mental representation ability all to pretend play. There are many theories on pretend play but there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that it plays a large part in a child’s cognitive behaviour. Despite this there appears to be a decline in the understanding of the importance high quality play has on a child’s development.
The role of pretend play in children’s cognitive development written by Doris Bergen of Miami university.
Play puppets can help kids with autism written by Mike Frandesen D.D Examiner.