At ISC, we believe that dramatic play is an indispensable part of a well rounded Early Years programme as it is essential for early childhood development. Dramatic play is where children select and accept roles and act them out, pretending to be someone or something else. They could be superheroes or someone well known and familiar, like dad or mum. I often observe my children take on real-world roles; sometimes it is fantasy roles. In both cases, this kind of play involves breaking down the barriers of reality and results in earnest and natural learning.
My passion for teaching Early Years children motivates me to provide them with a dynamic learning environment and meaningful experiences through hands-on activities, interactive learning, fun games and a variety of great imaginative play. In my classroom, I always reserve an area for dramatic play which is directly connected to my topics. I set up a station where I can inject my new ideas and creativity. At the same time, I allow the children to collaborate with me to activate their ingenuity and imagination.
Our most recent topic was ‘On the Farm.’ One of the first things we did as a group was talked about what we should put in our ‘farm.’ Each child had a unique vision of what a farm would look like. “Ms. Gede, we should put a buffalo, a cow, a sheep and lots of chicken.” Therefore, we set up chicken nesting boxes made of wood and added some straw. We also made paper chickens and added some eggs in the nests. Next, we talked about other things our ‘farm’ might need. “We need to make a barn for our animals so they won’t run away. They can also play and sleep inside the barn, too.” So, we set up a wooden fence around the nesting boxes to make sure that our chickens and other animals have a nice barn to stay and sleep in.
Dramatic play is as equally important as the other areas of development. Children often take skills or concept from these areas and incorporate them into their imaginative play. Here at ISC, we use dramatic play as a platform to encourage and empower our children to become active and reflective learners. The benefits are many, children develop language as they speak from the perspective of their roles. They develop an ability to plan and coordinate, taking turns, sharing and learning empathy. Using symbols, like paper for money, helps connect the children to symbols such as numbers or letters. Children can learn to express their feelings through acting. It also offers teachable moments about conflict resolution and a chance to work through differences and arrange a compromise.