The Importance of Pretend Play in Preschool

K3 Learning, Inc.  pic

K3 Learning, Inc.
Image: k3learn.com

Since 1985, Michael Koffler has served as the CEO and chairman of MetSchools, Inc., now rebranded as K3 Learning, Inc. which stands out as a large private provider of education services in school settings. During that time, Michael Koffler has overseen the creation of schools that offer enriched, age-appropriate services for preschool children.

Pretend play allows preschool children to explore the world around them, while simultaneously building key social and cognitive skills. They learn to think flexibly and create imaginary situations from the real-life tools that they have around them, whether that means making a cardboard box into a car or imagining that a toy teacup contains real tea. In addition, if a child is creating this pretend world alongside a peer, he or she is also learning cooperation, perspective-taking, and compromise, as well as problem-solving skills.

Pretending itself is a key element in a child’s ability to learn how others see the world. They also learn about themselves when they experiment with different roles, which help them to connect with their abilities and interests. Such experiments also help children explore their own feelings about a particular real-life situation, such as a doctor’s office or a classroom, where they may feel some nervousness, which they need to work through.

These processes also allow a child to experiment with the use of language, both as a social tool and as a skill in and of itself. Children try on the words they have heard, while learning how their words affect others, how others’ words affect them, and how words can solve or create problems. This is an intricate and ongoing learning process in which pretend play serves a small but vital part.

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