Fascinating Secrets for using Pretend Play to Boost Social Skills

iStock 000020340424SmallSamir loved roaming through the toy centres in his preschool class. Cars, trucks, and trains were Samir’s favorite toys. He loved spending hours racing and crashing his vehicles. He replicated the sounds for emergency vehicles so well you thought a police car or ambulance was cruising by the school.

Samir’s teacher and father asked me to come into the classroom to observe Samir’s interactions. I noticed that Samir was happiest when a teacher followed his lead for playing vehicles “his way”. Samir moved “his” cars away from other kids who had different favorite ways of playing with these vehicles.

I came back to class with some adorable puppets to gradually introduce new ideas for playing with toy vehicles.

Puppets Go With Pretend Play Like Kids Go With Laughter!

Here are some Fascinating Puppet Secrets:

  • Using puppets in role-plays based on favorite activities, such as toy vehicles makes it easier for kids to bravely engage in pretend play.
  • Because kids want to try cool, appealing puppets, they are more willing to take on character roles.
  • Adding interesting props, i.e. toy characters to work with the vehicles, expands what the puppets can do & say, thus expanding kids’ imaginations.
  • Puppets are fabulous at gently & playfully obstructing pretend play to help kids adapt to changes in the way the play is going, i.e. Puppets can get excited about another child’s play idea. or Puppets can accidentally eat or break preferred toy vehicles, which thus disappear temporarily and need to be fixed.
  • When puppets use an animated sounding pitch plus loads of smiles and gradual movements, surprisingly, kids don’t seem to mind when puppets “shake up their play”.

When I returned to class a month later, the laughter Roaring from the “toy vehicle play centre” caught my attention. Two kids were laughing as Samir offered to fly their toy people in his plane. Before Samir’s plane would go, the toy people had to pretend to pay a puppet, held by a teacher. Samir was including other kids in his play, and accepting their idea of going for a ride in his plane. He was motivated by getting to take his turn placing pretend money into a puppet’s hands.

Your pretend play take-away… Use puppets to entice your child to engage in pretend play to boost his / her social skills.

To your Success with Creating Speech-Language Fun for Kids,
“Speech” Keri