The Power of Pretend!

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The power of pretend! What is pretend play? Pretend play, sometimes called imaginative play, fantasy play, symbolic play and sociodramatic play, refers to a kind of mental activity whose outward manifestations are verbal and nonverbal or both (Ariel, 2002). Children act out real events and they also take part in fantasy play about things that are not real, such as fairies or super heroes. Children try out roles, occupations and experiences in their pretend play. The acted out play is borrowed from the world around us and from the world of fiction children meet in stories, movies, and television and computer games. Pretend play is a way for children to act out situations to gain experiences and better understandings of things around them for example a toddler nursing her doll is copying her mother’s care of a new sibling( Youngquist & Partaray-Ching, 2004). Through role play the children develop and foster imagination skills, understand others’ perspectives, problems solve, expands communication skills, develop and express feelings and self-confidence, and socialize (Degotardi, 2005). It includes pretending with objects, actions and situations. As children grow, their imaginations and their play become increasingly complex. Children use their developing language to move from thinking in the concrete to thinking in the abstract. They make up stories and scenarios (Crowther, 2011; Slade & Wolf, 1994). Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827) said that it is important that children have that “natural education” where children learn about the world through exploration, self-directed curiosity and play (Degotardi, 2012). What are the different elements of pretend play? The different elements of pretend play are pretence, symbolism, make-believe, fantasy, creative thinking. Pretence is to act out a role or event. Children can interpret pretence, because they are apt to
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