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The Benefits of Play

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Imaginative Play at Eduplay Childcare

Also known as family play or dramatic play. This kind of play always involves pretending. It is a very important part of your child’s development and an aspect of early childhood education that we always encourage.

Eduplay Childcare Westgate - Baby in Mirror

When your child pretends to be someone (a teacher or a fireman) or something (a dog or a tiger) they are learning. Pretending allows a child to enter a different life which immediately opens a new world of possibility. These new possibilities demand a new and different way of thinking and doing.

Children might engage in conversations with their toys, which allows them to develop their language skills. Building tents, dancing, leaping, crawling and climbing all helps to develop coordination and strength.

Eduplay Childcare Westgate - Child Playing

What do our tamariki learn through imaginative play?

· Language Development

· Expressing feelings – both positive and negative

· Solving problems

· Being creative

· Sharing, socialising and cooperating

· Understanding new experiences

· Physical development

When play involves other people, places and animals, opportunities arise for children to become aware of how others feel. This develops a sense of empathy.

Children are free to experiment without fear of failing. This builds confidence and a sense of self.

Eduplay Childcare Westgate - Child drawing

Thinking Skills

Playing pretend games is an opportunity for children to make sense of what is happening in their lives and the world around them. Imaginative play is a very natural way for our tamariki at Eduplay Westgate to solve problems and communicate.

Maybe they are going to go camping in the jungle and decide they need a tent. The children will begin to problem solve what they need and how to make it.

Or perhaps more than one child wants to be the “teacher” in a game. The thinking skills involved in solving that dilemma are critical to every aspect of life, now and in the future.

Thinking skills include

· Negotiating

· Persuading

· Conflict resolution

· Taking Responsibility

When conflict arises during imaginative play our children are encouraged to find ways to compromise. This is a life skill that benefits every one of us.

How Does Eduplay Support Imaginative Play?

· Offer suggestions but don’t take over

· Join in using similar language

· Find books or experiences that will stimulate new ideas

· Discuss their ideas without trying to direct them

Eduplay Childcare Westgate - Toddler Room

Resources that Spark Imagination

We provide resources for our tamariki that fuel their dramatic play

· Dress up clothes and accessories like hats and shoes

· Cultural resources

· Dolls and animals

· Writing materials

· Old magazines or newspapers

· Tables and chairs

· Boxes

· Fabric

· Natural resources like stones and shells

· Music and instruments

Studies have proven that supporting and encouraging creative play helps to develop language, physical, cognitive and social development.

For more information

Family and dramatic play - Ngā whakaari ā-whānau


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