Role play is a fun and easy way for children to learn more about themselves, what they love, and what they could eventually enjoy doing in the future. It helps children to develop interests in different subjects and many children have discovered their dream profession thanks to participating in role play as a child and sticking with their choice through the years into adulthood.
Role playing also has an essential role when it comes to learning important skills such as creativity, discipline, working as a team, and socialising in general. It gives children a unique opportunity to act out and make sense of scenarios based on real life situations, whist letting their creativity run wild when it comes to how they would handle them. From firefighters and police to kings and queens, the possibilities are endless, the only limit is their imagination!
There are, however, a few different types of role play and each one benefits children in its own way.
Occupational Role Play
Occupational role play is when children take the roles of different careers and act them out. Some popular job roles children pretend to be include doctors, nurses, vets, builders, gardeners, shop assistants, cleaners, and even teachers. When taking on such roles, children engage themselves in a form of play that encourages them to show more empathy towards the people around them.
It’s not only tons of fun, but also very beneficial for children to imagine themselves as people with important roles inspiring care and an interest for the community. Occupational role play is also fantastic for naturally developing their communication and social skills.
There’s a reason why occupational role play is also used in adult life, for example, in job interviews. It helps to improve and demonstrate problem-solving skills as it allows them to discuss different scenarios and solutions with their peers.
Fantasy – not only the most awesome, but also one of the most essential elements and prospects of role play. Almost every child has a favourite superhero, Disney princess, or make belief character that they love, admire, and look up to.
Fantasy characters often represent all aspects of life in an engaging, interesting way to children which is why it makes for such a good way for children to learn. When they have fun and enjoy themselves, they are more likely to remember the knowledge for next time.
Fantasy role play encourages children to use their imagination the most, and whilst doing so, they are able to develop their courage, creativity, confidence, and communication. What’s more, when children role play in groups, they often have to choose who’s going to play who. In turn, this improves their patience and negotiating skills, helps them to better understand others, and develops their teamwork.
Role playing real-life situations such as building, camping, meeting new people, and having job interviews for example, helps early-years learn more about their real environment and develop both their physical and communication skills. They may be able to start recognising certain scenarios and situations that they see their parents or teachers in day to day. It can help them learn how to react and respond to different problems and circumstances, all the while developing their personal attributes and building their character.
Role playing is a great way for children to develop themselves as individuals and to learn more about the world. It can be played inside or outdoors, within a safe environment, and the best part is there are no limits! Encourage your school children to take part in role play to help them grow and prepare them for what may come!