One of the things I love about early childhood education is watching little ones pretend and imagine through dramatic play. In addition to well...just being cute, it is very rewarding to watch them make connections and discoveries.
"Dramatic play can be defined as a type of play where children accept and assign roles and then act them out. It is a time when they break through the walls of reality, pretend to be someone or something different from themselves and dramatize situations and actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play. And while this type of play may be viewed as frivolous by some, it remains an integral part of the developmental learning process by allowing children to develop skills in such areas as abstract thinking, literacy, math and social studies, in a timely, natural manner." (Marie E. Cecchini)
You might be asking yourself, how and what is my child learning while 'playing' in the doctor's office?
- Social skills are learned and practiced as they play and share with others.
- Early math concepts are introduced as they see numbers on the scale, growth chart and thermometer.
- Fine motor skills are sharpened by checking-in patients or adding to their medical records.
- Gross motor skills are exercised by dressing in the scrubs and learning to walk using crutches.
- Literacy skills are introduced through books and environmental print.
- Creativity and problem solving skills are utilized as they think of additional items they need, but are not present in the doctor's office. For example, going to the art area to make wristbands for their patients.
- Responsibility by picking up and putting back what they have played with.
- Empathy for others after realizing how hard it is to get everyday tasks completed because you have to use crutches or your arm is in a sling.
- Inspiration for future careers that might not have ever been considered.