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Dramatic play improves social skills in young children

Dramatic play is a lot of fun but it is more than just child’s play. At our Bondi Junction clinic, we believe that it is a vital component of children’s general development. It is a critical part of social skills development but what most people don’t realise is that it is one of the highest levels of pretend play.

You can learn more about Dramatic play . For now, let’s look at how it improves these areas of development:

Communication development

Dramatic play generally involves a lot of verbal communication. However, it also involves an abundance of non-verbal communication as well. Children learn to take on both of these types of communication, and to respond to them appropriately. They learn new vocabulary and sentence structure. They learn to listen to their peers and attend to many things at the one time.

Social development

The ability to take part in dramatic play is a higher-level social skills. It encourages children to develop ‘Theory of Mind’ which is the ability to view things from another persons’ perspective. By developing this social skill they have the ability to work out how their actions might be their friends, they can then learn to use this in everyday life. They learn the important social skill of empathy. During dramatic play, children negotiate roles and mutually agree on the rules and expectations of the play. This helps children develop the ability to cooperate with their peers. They learn how to control impulses and how to respect the decisions of others, which is a key component of successful social skills.

Cognitive development

During dramatic play, children act out things they have seen happening around them on their everyday life. It might be doing the shopping with Mum or going to the doctor when they are sick. This requires the children to recreate these scenes they remember. When they are observing, discovering and practicing problem solving based on reasoning, pretend play plays a key role in development of cognitive skills. It also helps children build the ability to solve problems and draw their own conclusions.

Gross and fine motor skill development

Putting on costumes, making props and setting out imaginary play sets all develops gross and fine motor skills.

Dramatic play is the perfect thing for rainy days.

Should I be concerned about my child’s dramatic play skills?

If your child is having difficulty with any components of dramatic play, then it is cause for concern. In particular, if they are having difficulty communicating, understanding the steps in play or finding it hard to fit into the play with their peers, then a play and social skills assessment is recommended. Our Speech Pathologists may need to look at your child’s overall communication skills. Our Occupational Therapists may need to look at your child’s gross and fine motor skills. We may need to look at their play skills. When children build a strong foundation in these areas, then their dramatic play flourishes!

Our Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy clinic in Bondi Junction

OneOnOne Children’s Therapy is a Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy clinic located in Bondi Junction in Sydney. If you want to know how we can help your child then call us on (02) 80657837 or email us.

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