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Friday, October 11, 2019

9 Benefits of Playing Dress Up for Children



Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

In the month of October, we see dress-up clothes all over the place. Princesses, pirates, firefighters, and ballerinas galore! But beyond Halloween fun and the sugar rush our kids will inevitably get, the benefits of dressing up and dramatic play are many.

Memory Retention

Dressing up and dramatic play encourage children to exercise their brains and pull accumulated knowledge into a specific scenario. Children are observant and dramatic play allows them to use the skills and knowledge they see every day. Be it playing house, taking care of a baby doll, or acting out a fairy tale, dramatic play is a workout for their brain as it recalls information before play-acting.

Vocabulary

Through dress-up play, children take on the persona of their costume. They may explore different vocabulary they believe is appropriate for their character and, eventually, children can learn how to apply language to different situations and eventually apply it to their everyday activities and communications.

Problem-Solving Skills

Before dress-up play can begin, children need to solve a few different problems, including decisions regarding what scenarios to act out/play, who gets to act out which role, and what is needed to outfit the roles involved. Solving these problems as a group or as individuals forces the children to navigate problems and arrive at solutions that will move the play forward.

Empathy Towards Others

We've heard the phrase "...walk a mile in their shoes…" Through dramatic play, children are able to put this phrase into action and better understand the perspectives and experiences of others. They may exercise their ability to soothe and feel nurturing when playing with a baby, or brave as they pretend to be a firefighter or soldier.

Emotional Development

The processing of difficult situations through play is a safe way for children who may have seen or experienced trauma or acts of violence. It can help them overcome feelings of helplessness and regain a sense of wellbeing.

Fine Motor Skills Development

A less obvious benefit of dress-up play is the development of fine motor skills. Be it buttons, zippers, or ties, the different pieces of play clothes challenge children to practice their fine motor skills. Large motor skills, such as jumping, running, and spinning are also used in dramatic play.

Gender Identity and Exploration

We may find little girls playing as princesses or fairies more often than boys, who may be more likely to pretend play as firefighters and pirates. Exploring differently gendered roles through play allows children to experience a different perspective.

Social Skills

Dramatic group play offers children the opportunity to practice cooperating with others, building on the story being played and negotiating the rules of the scenario. The concept of sharing and taking turns is also practiced during group play.

Creativity and Imagination

Dramatic play allows children to stretch the constraints of reality. By using their imagination, children are engaged in creative thinking that can serve them well in real life.
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Find more about the author: Kim Hart

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

15 Awesome Quotes on Play From Experts You Can Follow on Twitter

Play is important but, goodness knows, some days we need a bit more motivation to get off of our couches with our kids. It can certainly be tempting to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning hunkered down watching cartoons or a movie as a family, but it can be so much more satisfying to get up and move our bodies together. Whether you are a family who enjoys playing team sports or hiking in the wilderness, those first few steps to get up, ready, and out the door can be hard. To make it a little easier to stay motivated to move, I've collected the following inspirational quotes and tweets from people who understand and champion the importance of movement and play. Print these out, hang them up, and come back to them when the thought of a lazy, sedentary weekend sounds extra alluring.

1. "Free play gives children an outlet to express their emotions and feelings and helps them develop a sense of who they are."
- KaBOOM! @kaboom!

2. "Children learn through doing - play is how they explore the world, learn to assess risk, try things out, and get to know themselves."
- Bethe Almeras @balmeras

3. "You don't remember the times your dad held your handle bars. You remember the day he let go."
- Lenore Skenazy @FreeRangeKids

4. "Think of playtime like an innovation lab where tomorrow's civilization is being actively designed."
- Jordan Shapiro @jordosh

5. "We should be simply providing fields of free action for them to become, through playing, the resilient, adaptive, creative, emotionally intelligent, and socially confident young people that we all, in truth, want them to be."
- Adrian Voce, OBE @adevoce

6. "Play is our brain's favorite way of learning."
- Diane Ackerman @DianeSAckerman

7. "I shouldn't have to defend play for children any more than I should have to defend their eating, sleeping, and breathing."
- Rae Pica @raepica1

8. "Supporting children to play requires us to remember what life is all about. It's not about getting from A-Z, but rather dreaming beyond both."
- Vince Gowmon @VinceGowmon

9. "Kids who play, play well as adults. Kids who play build their confidence and learn the social skills that help them become happy, well-adjusted adults."
- KaBOOM! @kaboom!

10. "Let's stop differentiating between children's play and children's work. In early childhood play IS the work." - Tonya Satchell @LiteracyCounts

11. "...Kids don't run home excited to share all the procedures they learned day one. Make time for fun day one, week one and all year." - Matt Gomez @mattBgomez

12. "I believe we should call children writers and artists because children ARE writers and artists.
- Mo Willems' Pigeon @The_Pigeon

13. "Technology should be used to capture and amplify learning, not to keep children "busy."
- Karen Lireman @KLireman

14. "As educators, we live in a world of S.M.A.R.T. goals which help us focus our efforts to achieve results. But shouldn't we leave some room for D.U.M.B goals, too?

D ream-Driven

U plifting

M ethod-Friendly

B ehavior-Triggered

- Bevin Reinen @TeachTrainLove

15. "If you insist on readiness tests for children entering school, I'd suggest putting them on the playground with a bunch of other kids for an hour and determine if they act like a child. Anything less than what a kid would do means you should ramp up playtime."
- Dean Shareski @shareski

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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