One of the most important things we do at RCNS to support emotional development is to provide opportunities for children to solidify their ideas of real and pretend. By encouraging them to try on different roles by pretending to be a Mom, Dad, Baby or Puppy, we help them learn how to take another persons perspective and to exercise their abstract thinking.
By providing them with the framework to act out stories like “The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and The Three Bears” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, children can try on the roles of a Hero or a “Bad Guy” yet still feel like an everyday child.
Alison Gopnik , a leading researcher in the field of cognitive development, reported in Smithsonian.com “That children who were better at pretending could reason better about Counterfactuals (ideas that go against or beyond our regular assumptions of fact.). They were better at thinking about different possibilities and thinking about different possibilities plays a crucial role in the latest understanding about how children learn.” (July/August 2012, p.13)
So remember when children are participating in dramatic play there is a whole lot of brain development going on too!