Play helps children to develop a broader range of skills and understandings. Each week encourage your child to engage in a wide range of types of play.
Children take on roles in pretend games about familiar experiences — going on a family fishing trip, sharing a family celebration.
Children create props and use these as they engage in fantasy adventures — creating an ocean floor using sheets for water and baskets for rocks.
Children explore the properties and functions of materials, equipment and objects — experimenting with a tool to find out how it works with clay or dough, using a magnifying glass to view different objects.
Children manipulate and explore objects, parts and materials — threading beads, doing puzzles, using construction sets.
Children explore movements and ways to combine movements — running and playing ball, jumping, climbing, dancing, moving on an obstacle course.
Children follow or create rules to reach a shared objective in a game — playing outdoor games, following child-created games with rules, playing computer, board and card games.
Dramatic and fantasy play
Dramatic and fantasy play provides opportunities for children to imagine, create and experience a sense of wonder.
Children explore familiar experiences as they take on the roles of other people in their family or community.
They explore possibilities, go on make believe adventures, create imaginary characters and use objects to represent their ideas (e.g. a box to represent a house or a paper roll to represent a microphone).
Supporting your child’s imagination
Ask your child questions about the roles that they are exploring in their dramatic play — What do you think a doctor would wear? or What words would a doctor use?
Ask your child questions about how they could set up for dramatic and fantasy play — How could you make a grocery store? or What are some of the things that you could use?
Encourage your child to think of possibilities — What would happen if …? or Where could you travel to next?
Ideas for dramatic play
grocery store — empty food packets, pretend money, basket for shopping
home setting — baby dolls, pretend food, old telephone
workshop — table for a workbench, pretend tools, toys to repair, paper for writing ‘jobs’
a vet/doctor surgery — toy animals, dolls, toy medical equipment, dress ups, ‘cages’ for animals, ‘pretend medicine’, paper for writing ‘scripts’, waiting room seats
a restaurant/café — table, chairs, menus, cutlery, plates, pretend food.
Ideas for things that can be used for dressing up
hats, berets, caps
long skirts and dresses cut to child’s ankle length