We LOVE pretend play and spend a lot of time developing play solutions (such as costumes, dens, play furniture....and more!) that support all kinds of play. But we are especially passionate about child led pretend play. So why is that?
The main reason is that play is the single most effective way for a young child to learn and develop important life skills. It offers countless opportunities for children to act out real life situations in the safe world of pretend! We call that world Fafunia. Where mistakes lead to giggles and disagreements are left in the toy box.
But play really is serious – and a lack of free play can affect children’s ability to learn and prosper later in life. Pretend play, in particular, has four primary areas of developmental impact:
Emotional – interacting through play will help children to understand their individuality and in that increase their self-esteem, pride and sense of accomplishment. It will also support their sense of purpose and help them gain resilience in different situations.
Intellectual – play practises negotiation, problem solving, storytelling and organising. It nourishes creativity and practical use of new knowledge. It even supports early numeracy!
Social – learning how to share with others, take turns and find meaning and joy in cooperation are very important life skills. Learning to control impulses and deal with disappointment will help them to cope with delayed gratification.
Physical – pretend play offers countless opportunities for children to develop their gross and finer motor skills as well as increasing their strength and coordination.
If you want to read more about the science of play, you can read our PLAY! magazine here.