Imaginary play, role play or dramatic play in early childhood lays a foundation for children’s development of dispositions for learning. Whether it be ‘small world’ play with little figurines, cars and dolls houses or ‘real world’ play where children have the opportunity to become whoever they want and explore the world with no boundaries, this play matters!
In our centres you will notice children have opportunities to engage in dramatic play throughout the curriculum both indoors and out.
This play is rich with opportunities for children to negotiate with one another, develop language and communication skills and to set their own rules. Our educators listen for the perfect teachable moments where they can extend this learning and provide additional learning provisions.
Imagine this, you have just walked into your children’s early education centre and you notice children and educators alike busily engaged in various conversations and play throughout the centre.
You spy 3 children in the Toddler room in a pretend kitchen where one child is preparing an imaginary meal on the stove top while a second child sets the table and waits patiently for their delicious dinner. You notice a third child who is washing the dishes and asks an educator if they’ll be joining them for dinner.
As you move through the space you also notice two children lying on their tummies with their faces to the ground, driving cars and holding tiny figurines. These two children are engaged in conversation and are in character as the figurines. Their faces are against the ground so their line of sight is just so that they can imagine this world is real. You hear a hint of an American accent and realise that their voices are those of the characters.
In the outdoor yard there are a group of children running around chasing one another. You hear ‘stop you are under arrest, you must go to the gaol’. The child stops and walks over to the fence where the gaol is and then begins to plan the ‘great escape’ with their friends.
As you walk through the centre to collect your youngest child from their room you find them on the phone, chatting away to Dad. You know it’s Dad because the conversation consists mostly of “Da da da da da”. When the conversation ends they begin to clap as they see your face smiling down at them.
You have just experienced what our wonderful, qualified and dedicated educators get to experience every day. Each child is involved in dramatic play, allowing them to develop their sense of identity, encourage them to connect and contribute to their world, to become confident involved learners and effective communicators.
Penguin Childcare use the Early Years Learning Framework and our years of experience to facilitate children’s growth and development and learning through play and fun! The world is a child’s stage and we are their adoring audience.