The Importance of Role Play in Child Development

Role play plays a very important role in child development. Basically, it is a type of game in which the little one imitates real-life situations and embodies other people, allowing him to form an image of the world around him and develop his skills. In fact, role play is much more than just entertainment as it prepares the child for his future life as an adult.

Here are 5 reasons why role play is fundamental in childhood:

1. Promote creativity

When the child plays to become a doctor, father or lawyer, he not only imitates the behaviors of the adults around him but also unleashes his creativity. In fact, it is usual to continually cross the boundary between the real and imaginary, giving life to their own characters and creating completely new situations. Therefore, it is an excellent exercise to stimulate your imagination and enhance your creativity.

2. Stimulates language development

Through this type of game the child also develops his language and learns new words and concepts. Some of the terms he uses have been heard before, but at the time of the game, when he plays another person, it is when he gives them a meaning and includes them in his vocabulary. You can also learn new words and expressions with the other children who play with him.

3. Regulate your emotions

Through the characters he represents, the child expresses his ideas, feelings and way of seeing the world. The fact of putting yourself in another skin allows you to show your inner world more easily and channel your fears, conflicts and worries.

4. Promotes problem solving

In the role play, the child faces multiple problems and situations that are part of everyday life. That is why it is an opportunity to develop their conflict resolution tools and learn to make their own decisions.

5. Develop social skills

Through the role play the child also learns to communicate with other people and to establish different types of links. Learn to give up, listen, refute the criteria of others in a respectful way and be more empathetic.

What is the appropriate age to introduce the child to the role play?

Usually, the child discovers the role play naturally around 3 years. At this age he is already able to recognize himself as an independent person and begins to create his own mental representations of the world.

At the beginning, the most common is that the child is limited to representing the life of adults, whether it is the daily life of those around him or the story of the characters he sees in cartoons, children’s stories or television.

As the little one grows, he will be able to recreate more complex scenarios, the result of the development of his capacity for representation, creativity, experiences and relationships with other people. This occurs between 4 or 5 years, an age in which the child already has the necessary psychological tools to maximize the benefits of the role play, although it will not be until about 7 years that he will become a real actor.

3 Role plays to have fun with the little ones at home

  1. Encourage the child to become his favorite hero / heroine. Embodying your favorite hero or heroine is one of the role plays that the child will enjoy the most. In addition, it is a very simple way to empower and enhance self-determination.
  2. Encourage him to represent a professional he admires. Unleash the little one to become the professional he would like to be in the future and experience in his own skin what it means to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or computer scientist.
  3. Encourage him to imitate a world figure. Give the child the opportunity to put himself in the shoes of a historical, political or cinematographic personality and encourage him to make important decisions from that position. In this way you will learn to assess the consequences of your actions.