Benefits of Symbolic Play
Symbolic play or dramatic play occurs when children use an object as a substitute for another. A child can pretend to feed a doll. The child may use an object to represent another object, for instance using a mask to symbolize an ogre. According to recent studies, symbolic play is vital in early childhood development.
1. Increased cognitive skills
Studies show that symbolic play, commonly known as pretend play can help increase cognitive skills in children, including complex abstract reasoning and better linguistic competence. During symbolic play, children use objects to represent symbols. For instance, a doll can represent a real-baby and a toy car may embody a real car.
2. Fosters positive feelings
Pretend play can also help quell feelings of aggression, which is common in children. It enables them to explore their emotions as it gives them an opportunity to enjoy humor and positive feelings. Nonetheless, adult supervision is still of utmost importance to curb any anti-social behavior.
3. Improves literacy
According to research, reading materials used in pretend play helps children improve literacy. On the other hand, use of numbers in symbolic play helps children learn math concepts. In one study, researchers found out that preschoolers had improved math skills after participating in play situations that involved use of numbers.
4. Social skills
Besides improving literacy in young children, symbolic play also help in character development. Through pretend play, children learn valuable social skills as they interact with each other harmoniously. They learn the importance of teamwork in problem solving.
5. Develops memory
Symbolic play also helps improve memory in young children. By creating mental imagery during pretend play, children learn problem solving. Additionally, they exhibit development in language and speech, as well as creative abilities.
Adult supervision is of utmost importance during symbolic play to curb antisocial behavior such as fighting.