Reasons Dramatic Play Matters for Child Development

Posted: March 31, 2020

You know how important play is for your child’s development. Dramatic play has been proven to improve children’s cognitive learning, which is why it is very important to incorporate it into your child’s routine.

What Is Dramatic Play?

Dramatic play sounds like an educational term, but it’s probably something you already know and already do with your children. It involves acting out real life situations while taking on the role of different characters. Dramatic play is a great way to get your children to explore their thoughts and feelings.

There are two different types of dramatic play: structured and unstructured, with the former having specific guidelines in roles and scenarios, and the latter giving the freedom to choose. Both structured and unstructured dramatic play are important components of your child’s emotional and social development. You may remember being younger and playing make-believe.

4 Reasons Why Dramatic Play Is Important

  1. Teaches Self-Regulation

Children younger in age (2-5 years) are known to act impulsively. Dramatic play is a great stepping stone towards self-regulation. During dramatic play, children tend to be more motivated and interested in following the rules and sticking to the rules of the play. It helps them develop their ability to control their impulses, coordinate with others and make plans.

  1. Dramatic Play Gives Children an Emotional Outlet

Dramatic play gives kids the opportunity to act out different scenarios that they have seen and/or heard in real life, making it a great emotional outlet for them. Young children don’t think internally yet, and dramatic play gives them the opportunity to explore their own thoughts and feelings. This is particularly important for children who experience things that are upsetting or scary in their daily lives. 

  1. Dramatic Play Teaches Conflict Resolution

Both types of dramatic play (structured & unstructured) can be used to offer teachable moments about conflict resolution. Disagreements will most likely occur during unstructured dramatic play, which gives children the opportunity to work through their conflicts and come to a compromise.

Dramatic play not only encourages children to resolve their differences, but also gives them an opportunity to consider different perspectives and recognize the importance of everyone’s role. With structured play, children can be given a specific problem in which they have to come up with their own solution.

  1. Dramatic Play Supports Literacy

Dramatic play provides the opportunity for kids to see functional print, such as newspapers and menus in context. For example, the kids that play in a grocery store scenario will see shopping lists and a checkout receipt. This shows them the different ways that text is used in daily life routines.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in dramatic play, contact Lights Up Musical Theatre Schools. Register your child for a summer camp today!