Roleplay, called ‘make-believe,’ is an intuitive learning activity, though a teacher or child handler can sometimes initiate it. It allows a child to act out real-life situations by imitating the characters’ behavior. The role of play in early childhood education remains an important part of imparting various skills and values to children.

Some Types of Role Play

These varieties of role play depend on the nature of circumstances the child imitates and include the following:

  • Real-life situations

In this situation, pre-schoolers act out situations in the real world that they observe in their immediate surroundings. These are based on the roles and relationships they observe daily, such as at home.

  • Fantasy

Due to exposure to animated content and comic books with characters and situations that enthrall them, children play out those character roles of the fantasy character, such as superheroes.

  • Occupational

Here youngsters pretend to be workers in various careers, such as police officers, nurses, teachers, or doctors.

Importance of Role Play in Pre-schooling

Role play socializes children to understand their roles in the society around them and to know the nature of their relationships with their significant others. Children learn life skills that guide them through life.

In addition to that, role play remains an invaluable resource in early childhood education for the various benefits that it brings. These include;

1. It boosts communication skills

A child’s vocabulary level grows through the role-play sessions as the child imitates the characters’ speech in real life. Children also improve their self-expression abilities by communicating with each other during role-play, as some speak and others listen, which grows their language skills.

2. Role play boosts physical development

The activities involved in the role play, such as grasping things, climbing, running, and jumping, contribute to the psychomotor development of pre-schoolers. As they engage in those activities independently or with their peers, the activities motivate them to reach developmental milestones faster.

3. Children learn and engage in appropriate social activities

Youngsters learn to manage their emotions, solve problems, and resolve conflicts from the nature of activities that make up role-play sessions. These benefits contribute to emotional and social development, where the children imagine themselves in various situations.

They explore how they would manage themselves and communicate with others in those situations. In the same way, they learn to put themselves in other people’s shoes, which develops empathy.

4. It boosts creativity

Role-play evokes creative thinking and cognitive skills as children use imagination to stage role-play activities. This creativity becomes the foundation for innovative thinking later in life.

5. Through it, children learn to be observant

For successful role-play, the children must learn to be observant, remember what they saw others do, and copy it.

How to Boost Role Play in Children

Parents, teachers, and caretakers can encourage children to take up role play by participating in those role plays. In this way, they guide the children through various social, emotional, and moral situations and dilemmas.

They lead the children towards positive solutions to situations in life. This method effectively imparts moral values instead of lecturing children on the dos and don’ts.

As parents play with their children, it becomes a chance to display values such as love, kindness, respect, and forgiveness. It also allows parents and children to bond as they play, which boosts the child’s emotional security and self-esteem.

Secondly, they can provide resources to children supporting role-play activities. Such resources include time, props, and space for the children to stage the play. The teacher can use this to encourage children to read more to find characters they imitate later.

Children can overcome social problems such as shyness and aggression with continued play participation.


Roleplay, whether initiated by the child or facilitated and guided by the teacher or parent, plays a big role in a child’s development. It teaches children to use cognitive and mental abilities to identify and solve problems. Role play becomes the foundation of imparting children with life skills and moral values to help them live constructively and actively with others.

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