"Systematic research has increasingly demonstrated a series of clear benefits of children’s engagement in pretend games from the ages of about two and one half through ages six or seven. Actual studies have demonstrated cognitive benefits such as increases in language usage including subjunctives, future tenses, and adjectives. The important concept of “theory of mind,” an awareness that one’s thoughts may differ from those of other persons and that there are a variety of perspectives of which each of us is capable, is closely related to imaginative play (Jenkins & Astington, 2000; Leslie, 1987; Singer & Singer, 1990; Singer & Singer, 2005)."
An excerpt from a great article published on psychologytoday.com, outlining the need for pretend play in play times. You can read the full article here.
How do you encourage pretend play at home?
In our programs we encourage pretend play through;
• use of themes in our holiday camps, both our Forest Camps and our HANDS Camps
• on the playground using found objects during our weekly programs
• in the Forest as we explore the environment that we find ourselves in.
We are very fortunate to have staff who know how to pretend play. Because, believe it or not it is a skill! You need to immerse yourself in a role and own it as you play. Become a believable insect, fox, tiger, shark, pirate, villain, mermaid and oh so much more!
If you have not tried to engage your child in this play, it is not too late. Put down your phone and your adult personality, and release your inner child! Trust us, it is so very fun to do so!