Wednesday, 6 April 2011

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The Power of Pretend Play


Age: From 2-4 years old

Pretend play gives your child ample opportunity to use his imagination, says Jerome L. Singer, Yale University. Research shows that kids who play make-believe tend to be happier than other kids.

Here is an example of Pretend Play with Making Chinese Fried Rice and Italian Pizza

Materials:
1. A bowl of real uncooked rice
2. Some toy kitchen pans, meat and vegetables, plates, cup and jug, toy pizza (I bought most of these from the second hand market)
3. A mini kitchen stove set (optional)
4. Used soap container
5. Drying cloth
6. Some stuffed toys as friends
7. Kid's size apron

Directions:
1. Indicate the start of the pretend play session by putting on an apron yourself and a kid's size apron for your child (I also placed a children's story book about cooking rice on the table and on the stove for J to identify with the story we had just read).

2. Help your child set up a table and chairs for his stuffed animals.

3. Ask your child to start the frying (you may need to show him).

4. Help your child to set the table.

5. Say grace and thank God for the "food" together.

6. Suggest to your child to pretend to pour water for training teddy bear and serve it pizza.

7. Pretend to eat.

8. Ask your child to pretend to wash and dry the dishes (I asked J to pretend to wash the dishes with the toy tap, but he asked me for the soap as well, so I added an old emtpy soap container to the "props" for this pretend play and gave it to him).

9. Request your child to put back the things in place (A good practice for sorting and memory training. I have a container for all the ladles, a container for all the meat, a container for all the vegetables, a place for the pot, a place for the plates, etc. and J is quite good in putting most of the things in their place with supervision)

10. Take off the apron to mark the end of the session.




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