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Dramatic play is an essential part of early childhood education. It is a space where children can express themselves, act out situations that are familiar to them and allow their imaginations to take over. Early Childhood Education News provides great insight to the important aspects of dramatic play that are essential to child development.

By definition dramatic play is a type of play where children assign roles to one another and then act them out. They take turns assuming their role and often times becoming something that they are not. Research shows that this form of play is essential in developing a child’s critical thinking skills. Dramatic play encompasses all different areas of development. Below are some fundamental skills that children develop through dramatic play.

Role Playing, children are mimicking the behaviors, tone and expressions of those that are familiar to them.

Materials and props, rich and purposeful materials allow children to extend their play and make the scenarios more in depth.

Pretending/Make Believe, there are many different parts of pretend or make believe. First, the dramatic play may begin with situations that are fantasy and as they develop the play becomes mimicking familiar situations that they are exploring on their own.

Length of Time, at the start this from of play may only last a few minutes but as time goes on, a child’s development expands. This development will include more advanced actions and vocabulary, lengthening the playtime.

Social Skills, dramatic play encourages social interactions with children, their peers and adults. Children move from engaging in play without any interaction and moving towards playing together while acting out the same scenario with multiple children.

Communication, dramatic play promotes a level of communication that is vital to child development. Children begin to repeat words they have heard before and engage with others, which in turn teaches them new words to enhance their vocabulary.