How Make Believe Enhances Toddler Development

How Make Believe Enhances Toddler Development

The impact of pretend play to children is so powerful. They get a lot of benefit from playing make believe. By understanding these benefits and working on to promote this type of play in toddlers, you help fuel the process of building various skills that are imperative in honing toddler development.

Benefits Toddlers Get From Symbolic Play

It Helps Toddlers Discover Their Talents

When toddlers are at play, everything and anything comes to life. A simple cardboard box can be transformed into a mini playhouse, play dough’s can be molded to fun animals or into a ginger bread house and socks into sock puppets with googly eyes. Possibilities are endless. Role playing unleashes the imaginative side of toddlers which ultimately helps them discover their personal aesthetic tastes at a tender age. Furthermore, make believe encourages toddlers to explore, observe and discover new things. A toddler who is fond of constructing objects may have the skills of an architect, while a little one who loves to tinker with colors, papers and blank canvases may be a brilliant painter in the making.

It Serves As A Representation of Real Things

To you, a block is just a block. But for your toddler it becomes anything from a burger to a pirate ship. Symbolic play obliges your toddler to think abstractly which helps him become an imaginative problem solver. While this may not seem like a major developmental milestone, but the capability to think metaphorically is crucial in learning language, sounds and math. When your toddler plays make believe, he uses toys that he can utilize in a variety of ways. This is how your little one comes to recognize basic thinking and academic skills (e.g. numbers represent amounts and letters stand for sounds).

It Helps Toddlers Acquire Confidence

Sense of self is essential to help toddlers properly develop. Playing in an open-ended manner enables your little one to play in almost any way he likes. This encourages safe expression of feelings which promotes the development of healthy behaviors. As a result, your toddler learns how to channel his frustrations productively promoting creative thoughts and new ideas which gives him self-esteem. Once he has this, he gains good understanding of himself which helps him better articulate with others.

It Enhances Language Skills

Make believe allows your toddler to experiment with words and voices. As your energetic toddler babbles to his stuffed animals and robots about his playtime plans, your child is gradually reinforcing his vocabulary and practicing speech. This is very beneficial as he grows older and starts to be more cooperative with other children since it minimizes petty fights and tantrum displays because he knows how to clearly express his queries and wants.

It Boosts Problem Solving Skills

When role playing, your toddler gets to utilize his brain. He encounters different scenarios which helps him understand things and come up with ways to resolve such problems. His brain is constantly thinking as your toddler spins scenes in his head. For example, he is playing with stacking toys. Naturally, he becomes curious so questions like what he wants to construct, what he needs to do in order to keep the blocks in place and how he will recreate the blocks in case it falls down plays inside his head. The more he becomes stimulated, the better exercise his brain gets which helps him become a fast and rational thinker.

It Builds Social Skills

Toys limit your toddler to play on his own. But with role playing, the more toddlers participate, the better. A simple story telling at your village playground or a puppet show in your house is an excellent way to help your toddler mingle with his peers. Not only do children get entertained but the exposure your toddler gets allow him to adapt, adjust, listen, share and respect other kids as well.

It Teaches Toddlers Proper Behaviour

By permitting your toddler to play with imaginative play sets and other forms of dramatic play toys, you are giving him the aptitude to grow his basic thinking skills. This enables your little one to learn how to use his senses to discover things and also how to efficiently manage problems. Make believe is an effective approach in assisting him in recognizing good behaviour from bad behaviour and in making important decisions.

Playing make believe need not require expensive and modern toys. Most often, it is the simple items like hats, blankets, clothes, socks, toy workbench tools and teddy bears where toddlers can learn best.

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