Role Play Centre
This week, I took my little boy to our local role play centre for a Mummy and Charlie play date. It is a fantastic place called ‘Little Lincoln’. It has a Horses Shelter with 3 ride on horses, brushes and helmets. There is also a local Coop supermarket with food, trolleys, baskets and tills and a veterinary centre with animals and medical equipment to care for them. Also, there is an ice-cream and cake parlour, a theatre royal with dress up clothes, a builders yard with bricks and building equipment, a hairdressers and a doctors surgery. The possibilities for roleplay in this small centre is incredible. They also have a little area for under 2’s, fences to keep the children safe where you can keep watch if you wish with a warm drink and a cake.
Research into importance of role play on child development
Now, this is not a paid advertisement for Little Lincoln but I wanted to give some context about what sparked the idea for my latest blog. As I was observing my son playing, it was magical to see him interacting with all of this and it got my brain into thinking about child brain development and why roleplay is vital to help a child understand their world and make sense of it. I also wondered what other benefits there are to roleplaying as well.
So, I set about researching this using my title as the search term into Google. One nursery had written their own blog post on this very topic. This blog post discusses how roleplay helps a child’s language development and verbal and non-verbal communication. It also discusses how it helps their social skills as they often get to communicate with others through roleplay scenarios. Furthermore, it allows a child’s creativity to shine and is unstructured playtime for them. The items are there but it is up to the child how they use these items.
On another blog I found, they list numerous reasons why role play is beneficial to a child, too. I found it quite interesting that this blog looked at the effects of role playing and building empathy in a child and also enhanced their problem solving skills. Role play also encourages the child to be physically active, too which is essential for their all round wellbeing.
If I didn’t need anymore convincing as to why role play is beneficial for our children’s development, Twinkl wrote a piece explaining this too. They go onto explain how the child can start to learn about their world in a safe environment and can be really beneficial to children who are having therapy or experiencing emotional distress.
Ideas for incorporating role play at home
Roleplay doesn’t need to be expensive or costly or time consuming. Here are a few ideas for how to integrate roleplay into your child’s play at home.
- Give your child empty food packets, tubs and boxes and help them set up a shop. You could encourage them to pay for the food using a bank card of yours or any other card you aren’t afraid of losing and even help them to put the shopping away in an easy to reach cupboard. The possibilities are endless.
- Set up 2 chairs in a line and 2 chairs behind these to create a car. Give your child a plastic plate as a steering wheel and sing the wheels on the bus!
- Turn your dining room table upside down and create a boat for your child to sail!
- Give your child saucepans and spoons and see what they create you to eat.
- Put some plates and cups out and have a teddy bears picnic.
- Lay down on the sofa and have your child check you over like a doctor. They could check your temperature, put a plaster on you, give you a nice blanket and give you medicine to make you feel better.
- Get a stick from the garden or local park and pretend they are a fairy. They could turn you into a frog and have you ribbiting all day!
- Give your child an empty box with a hole in it and let them post letters into it like a postman. They could even use your very own letter box.
- Get play bricks out and let the child build an enclosure for an animal like a farmer. They could get grass and leaves out the garden for the cow to eat.
- Set up some teddies in a row and give your child a book to read to the teddies like a teacher.
If you do want some paid ideas for role play sets available please do see my images and links below to Amazon. At no extra cost to you, if you use my link, I earn a small commission on any purchases you make.
Mummy the Fibro Warrior Top Tip:
- Research your local role play centre or if you don’t have one nearby recreate role play at home using my ideas suggested above!
If there is one takeaway I’d like you all to remember today is that every experience and opportunity you give your child has the chance to shape their brain development. Role play is one easy, simple way you can do this and it doesn’t need to break the bank. I need you to know you are doing the best you can, your child/children love you just as you are and you are Mummy the Fibro Warrior!
Until next time,
p.s. Have you got a role play centre near you? I’d love to know your role play ideas for children and please let me know in the comments below if you try out any of my ideas!