We know that children enjoy their free time and are the most active during activity or games period. Have you ever thought why? Of course, because it’s fun, and they can choose to do what they want to. Don’t be surprised if you got to know what children share with their parents when asked, “how was your day at school?”. The answer usually is, “Our team won the football match”, or “I had a lot of fun during speech & drama class.” So, we can safely conclude, that children love to indulge in games & play time. Now the question is can children be made to learn important skills through play? Read through the Blog to get your query answered.
What is role-play and how does it work?
You may have noticed your preschooler sometimes dress up like their class teacher and pretend to teach phonics to an imaginary audience. It’s very common for children to mimic actions of elders and visualize themselves as playing the same role as an adult. Essentially, role playing is this act of behaving as someone who is different from yourself. That means the child puts himself or herself in another person’s shoe and imagines to be like them. Dedicating a weekly session on role-play at the preschool or elementary grader’s level, adds variety to classroom studies and throws open a unique opportunity for children to express themselves. All play and no regular studies, could help in improving the child’s skills!
Benefits of role-play to Early Learners
- Develops language skills while children enact the part
- Builds social skills, as children get and receive feedback from their friends
- Allows children to be creative and they learn to express their ideas with clarity
- Widens the child’s perspective, as they get to know more about the person’s role or function while they enact
- Children recognize their own potential and become more confident individuals
- Sets a foundation for eliminating stage fright or fear of public speaking
Examples of gigs for children
I cook I toil in the kitchen, with pot and pans I cook wearing my adult mittens. Guess who am I? Well, of course it’s a chef. Now let’s look at some of the role play activities that you can explore with kids.
Doctor’s Helping Hands
Allow children to become doctors and let them mimic all that the doctor does at his clinic or in a hospital. To make the scene authentic, arrange for white shirts and ask children to wear it over their uniform. Make the child suspend the stethoscope around his neck, and have a writing pad in his hand. We recommend not to encourage using the plastic tools that come along with the child’s doctor’s play set, and instead use the real stethoscope. Now it’s time to enact. The child has to ask the right questions to the patient who walks into the clinic and then do a check-up by placing the stethoscope on the patient’s chest. Now they need to write a prescription and hand it over to the patient, just as a real doctor would do.
What children learn
Knowing what a doctor does and how helpful they are to the society, children could do-away with their fear while having to visit the doctor for their scheduled check-ups. Moreover, they learn about the different kinds of doctors by playing the role of a dentist, vet, ophthalmologist, etc.
At the Farm House
Teaching children about farm animals is more fun when you actually take them to a farm house. Well, if it’s not logistically possible, why not bring the farm house to school? Children get an opportunity to spend their day by performing various activities that a farmer does on his farm house. Like milking cows and feeding hay to the horses. For this you might have to convert the classroom into make-do barns, stables, and pigsty with mini figures of farm animals or dressing children up as them. Then take them to an outdoor space around your school premise, and allow them to get their hands dirty. Ask them to sow seeds, cut extra branches, and water plants in the garden area.
What children learn
They learn where their food comes from. Children don’t take the food on their tables for granted and become appreciative of blue collared wage earners. Educators can explain the process of germination and then highlight the importance of taking care of plants and animals.
All our budding news reporters & journalists have an important task for the day. They need to rush to the site to report a recent news on how the firemen saved casualties from a fire at a factory. Appearing in front of the camera and holding a mike in hand is something they get to experience for the very first time.
What children learn
Though it is just role play, children learn to face their fear of speaking into the cameras and grow more comfortable conversing about a topic.
Kutubee is a reading platform that is popularly available in the Middle East, including Dubai and GCC countries. Kutubee offers over 1500 books to encourage the habit of reading. With every book the child grows fonder, learns new words, sparks imagination, and sharpens his literacy skills. This helps students to be better role-players and communicate more effectively in class. Many schools across the UAE dedicate 30-40 minutes of library time, where children are free to do their research and read upon a topic before they take Centre stage for their role-play acts.