Pretend Play | Day 28 – 30 Days to Transform Your Play

The Importance of Pretend Play for Children (from An Everyday Story)

Day 28 Pretend Play - 30 Days to Transform Your Play {An Everyday Story}

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Day 28 | 30 Days to Transform Your Play

Here we are with two days to go; my second last post before our big giveaway on Wednesday.

Today we are talking about pretend play; that magical play when our children drift off into their own world and give us glimpses through their narrations. Sarah (3yrs) spends most of her days lost in imaginative stories; it’s truly delightful.

This post is for her, and all those other little children who spend their days setting up magical worlds to explore.

An Everyday Story - imaginative playDrawing on our children’s interests to enhance pretend play

“…children regularly act out dramas and offer profound observations, relating their own experiences and view of the world to other people, animals, and even objects…

Rather than seeing this world view as merely cute or dismissing it as undeveloped, why not draw on children’s unique perspectives to extend the learning process?

Teachers [and parents] can create dramatic play opportunities that specifically reflect children’s interests and encourage them to represent and further their understandings through their pretend play.”

~ Curtis & Carter: Learning Together with Young Children

We’ve been talking a lot about tapping into our children’s interests in order to create more meaningful play opportunities.

How can we draw on their unique perspectives?

How can we extend their interests and create experiences that specifically reflect [their] interests?

I think like much that we have been discussing over this month it comes down to watching and knowing our child and their interests and then offering inviting materials which will provoke them to delve deeper into their imaginations.

The Importance of Pretend Play for Children (from An Everyday Story)

In the dress-ups box

Rather than buying commercial costumes, as your child’s interests grow in different areas, gather materials which will allow them to create their own costumes, play scenes and stories.

Think about props and accessories which will compliment the dress-up materials; things like:

A child-led homeschool playroom (from An Everyday Story) Silks in the dress-ups (An Everyday Story)Repurposed materials & props:

  • old telephones
  • phone books
  • t.v remotes
  • magazines
  • shaving mirrors
  • old lace tablecloths
  • old sheer curtains
  • recycled materials

Costume ‘building’ materials:

  • belts
  • long pieces of ribbon
  • velcro pieces
  • bull clips
  • cotton tape
  • long strips of thick elastic

From the thrift store

  • old wedding/bridesmaid dresses
  • chunky jewellery
  • hats, hats, hats
  • shawls
  • scarves
  • boots
  • glittery shoes
  • boas
  • old shirts
  • handbags
  • sunglasses

Fire project - Drawing - An Everyday Story

 Space to Create

“Children need space in which to “work large” – space that is big enough and flexible enough to become anything they want it to be: a doctor’s office, a science lab, a grocery store…

If space is available, their work and their play will grow to fill it. In a small space, they might build tabletop models, in a large space, they can build a rocket big enough to play in….

In this open and flexible space, they can create models and props, make costumes, build large constructions… Empty space is full of possibilities.”

Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners

Something to think about

  • Have a look through your dress-ups, what materials do you have which allow your child to create their own costumes, props and scenes?
  • What could you add to your dress-ups which reflects your child’s interests ?
  • Could you rearrange your playspace to create a large area for your child to create?

What are your children’s favourite dress-up materials? Come and share on Facebook or on Instagram using #30daystyp

If you missed a post, here’s the rest of the series.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s posts on Racheous – Lovable Learning

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3 Replies to “Pretend Play | Day 28 – 30 Days to Transform Your Play”

  1. Lovely post Kate! My 4 year old son loves pretend play. His favourite costume at the moment is a pirate costume. He regularly puts it on and draws treasure maps and makes up a treasure hunt with an old chest of mine. He also loves Doctor play so a Doctor’s surgery is often set up in the playroom. He loves having access to real bandages, slings and blood collection vials. He even set up an invitation for me to play Doctors in our living room. Pretend play is wonderful for introducing opportunities to write meaningfully and extend vocabulary and their understanding of the world.

  2. As I’ve observed my boys over the last month, I’ve realized how little they depend on “toys”, even educational ones, for play. They love to be moving, and often in capes and with play foam swords. They love to make obstacle courses and pull the couch cushions off the couch. They love to play pirates and hide “treasures”.

    I’ve also noted how differently they play when on their own – Otto loves to choose a few toys as special treasures, and he’ll carry them around and fiddle with them in his hands. But most of all he loves move, so lots of gross motor play. Atlas, on the other hand, really loves to pretend play with his toys – planes, animals, LEGO men – and he’ll carry them around all day as he continues his play throughout the house.

    Thank you for this series, Kate. It has been wonderful to sit back, observe, and change our patterns of play to suite the boys’ tastes.

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