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Do you encourage your child 
to pretend play?

Remember your childhood days when you loved to pretend to be a queen, a milkmaid or a bandit? There were times when you yearned for playing the role of a teacher or a mother. Likewise, your child is likely to seek relief in a make-believe world.  Your daughter might enjoy being the doctor on call. Or your son might mimic a television actor. Do not discourage such play activities. Recent research has proved that such pretend play boosts a child's creative imagination. It is said that when children ape the adults, they understand responsibility better.  They know how it feels in the shoes of a disciplinarian. Watch your daughter putting her doll to sleep, and you will know how seriously children take the pretend play.  Never mock or discourage such play.

  • What is the advantage of the make-believe world?

    Not only does pretend play help a child to experiment with imaginary situations, but also it helps him or her play with words. It is a good pastime activity when children talk to themselves. They learn management of emotions like fear, disappointment, anger, jealousy and possessiveness. Pretend play gives them a chance to share, mimic, take turns, talk and boss around.

  • How to enhance the make-believe play?

    You don't need to spend a fortune to nurture a child's imagination. Just provide for an environment in which imagination can flourish. Offer space, uninterrupted time and props. 

    In the world of pretend play, a large cardboard box can be transformed into a stove, a castle, a car, or a dozen other things. A blanket draped over a few kitchen chairs can easily become a cozy house, a mysterious cave or a tent in the forest. The dining table can be made into a fortress.

    Puppets too provide children with an excellent avenue for their pretend play. A young child can easily handle finger puppets.

    Sometimes children use imaginative friends as their emotional counterparts. Don't spoil the fun of such imaginary friendship. It is just an outlet for a child's energy.

  • Supply these props

    Do not embarrass your child during the pretend play. Instead provide these props for enhancing the pretend play, especially during their pre-school years. 

    Make a dollhouse - put together a plastic or steel utensil set, small dolls, chairs, water in a saucer and some biscuits. Encourage your son to invite a make-believe group for a tea party. Let your little girl cook an imaginary dinner for the night. 

    Grocery store - paper money, paper bags, empty juice cans, cereal boxes, some fresh vegetables and fruits.

    Doctor's clinic - some bandages, a torch, a toy patient (you can play along and become a patient whenever possible). Inexpensive doctors' kits can be picked up from the market. In this way, your child will overcome fear of the doctor.  

    Office setup - an old keyboard, play telephone, envelopes, pencil, pen, some used paper. Your child is all set to imitate daddy and mommy in office.


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