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  • Writer's pictureHello Happy Learner

The importance of role play

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

Let's play...

Role play is vital to children's development. Through role play children can begin to understand their role in life. They can experiment doing new things or being in new situations before they have to encounter them in real life, such as role playing buying things from a shop or boarding a train. They can test out new vocabulary they have heard. Letting children take the lead and playing alongside them can help them explore these new situations and roles with increasing confidence. It is also a fabulous opportunity for you to help them learn new vocabulary. Try to demonstrate new words, or the correct way of saying things by repeating their corrected or improved sentences back to them or by narrating what you are doing rather than a direct correction such as no it is swam not swimmed.


Children may want to act out the books they read or stories they have seen. This is a great way to develop and use the new vocabulary introduced in the book or show as well as get a better understanding of story structure. As children grow in confidence they may wish to mix stories and characters together from books and shows they are familiar with. They are on their way to becoming an author as this is exactly what many authors do. Next time you are reading a book or watching a show can you spot where the author/writer's idea may have come from?


Older children may be able to use toys to act out their role play rather than take on the character themselves. Younger children may parallel play while role playing. This is where they role play in a similar theme to you or another child with limited or no direct interaction. They may wish not wish to 'buy' items from you in a shop but enjoy you also shopping at the same time. It goes without saying, that is until you try to purchase the item they want!


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