ENHANCING MAKE-BELIEVE PLAY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

         ·   Provide sufficient space and materials which allow the child to have many play options and hence reduce conflict.

·   Encourage children’s play without trying to control: Model, guide and build on young preschooler’s play themes. Provide open ended suggestions (Would the animals like a train ride?) and talk to the child about the thoughts, motivations, emotions of play characters. Refrain from directing the child’s play; excessive adult control destroys the creativity and pleasure of pretend play.

·   Offer both type of materials; realistic and those without clear functions: Trucks, dolls, tea sets, dress up clothes, house, phone etc are realistic materials which children use to act out everyday roles in their culture. Materials without clear functions (blocks, paper bags, sand) inspire fantastic role play like creature from space etc.

·   Ensure that children have many rich real- world experiences to inspire positive fantasy play: opportunities to participate in real world activities with adults and to observe adult roles in the community provide children with rich social knowledge to integrate into make-believe.

·         Help children solve social conflicts constructively: Cooperation is essential for socio-dramatic play. Help children resolve disagreements, constructively. For example, ask, “What could you do if you want a turn?” If the child does not know, suggest some options and help the child implement them.


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