“Play is a child’s work and is a big part of their day”
When children engage in imaginary or PRETEND play it enables them to learn about their world and how to interact with the people and things that are in it. Imaginative play is important as it gives the children a sense of control as they interpret everyday life around them. It helps in practicing behaviours and in developing the language needed for different situations. Problem solving, skill building, language development, and overcoming physical and mental challenges – it’s all going on behind the scenes when kids engage in pretend play!
In Early Childhood, the children taken part in imaginary play once a week. They have engaged in a number of different imaginative play scenarios, such as playing schools, being a Postman, working in a restaurant as well as going to the Doctors and the hairdressers. Giving children the opportunity act these scenarios out during Imaginative Play helps to prepare children for when they may actually experience it in real life situations, particularly those which are seen to be ‘stressful’ situations, e.g. going to the Doctors or the hairdressers. Going to the Doctors:
The children were given the opportunity to be the Doctor as well as the patient. If they were the patient they needed to wait in the waiting room until the Doctor was ready for them. As in real life waiting rooms, there were magazines and books for the children to look through while they waited.
Once they were in with the Doctor, the Doctor would check their blood pressure, temperature, look in their eyes and down their throat with a light. Some of the Doctors even had to check x-rays.
Going to the hairdressers
The children went to the hairdressers, and again had the opportunity to be the hairdresser and the client. If they were the client they needed to sit in front of the mirror, wear the cape and have their hair done. If they were the hairdresser they needed to cut their clients hair (with their fingers), comb their hair and blow dry their hair. There were some great hair styles by the end of the session.
Written by Emma Juleff (Teacher) and Andrea O’Brien (OT)