PLAYING MASAK-MASAK - The importance of Pretend Play
How many of you can remember playing "masak-masak" with your friends when you were younger?
Back then, we made do with whatever material that was available to us - Plastic containers, Big leaves to act as the plates, Sticks to act as the spoons, stones, flowers, seeds or what have you to act as the ingredients. Someone would sometimes becomethe mother, another the father, and some others became the children. We strike up conversations as how adults would, cook up a splendid dinner from the ingredients that we have and immerse ourselves into world of make-believe.
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” -O. Fred Donaldson
At PlayDate, we do plenty of dramatic and pretend play in our classes. In teaching them to read, sometimes our PlayDaters are whisked off to the zoo, riding a train, or swimming in the ocean, and many many more. That's because we strongly believe in the benefits of pretend play.
Here's sharing just 3 benefits of pretend play -
1. Language development -
In pretend play, children are encouraged to express themselves as they take on a certain role or carry out a certain task. Even if a child has yet to verbalise, to have a teacher/parent or any adult play out a role and engage him in a conversation, and thus exposing him to a wide use of vocabulary, would greatly enhance their language development.
2. Imagination -
Needless to say, pretend play "forces" a child to imagine. The more opportunities the child has to pretend play, the more opportunities there are for his imagination to be nurtured and cultivated. Imagination drives inquiry and inquiry eventually leads to knowledge.
3. Social Play and Interaction -
Pretend play is the best time to teach children values like cooperation, empathy, teamwork, taking turns and many others, as they learn to work and play with each other in different roles.
So, the next time our children empty that kitchen cabinet while we're cooking and pretend that too are cooking, let's just take a deep breath, chill (yes, I know it can be pretty tough, cos many a time I have ended up getting all frazzled when my kids do this) and let them lead the way into their imaginary world of make-believe.