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Kindergarten Fantasy & Make Believe Activities

by Erica Loop

While your little learner may start her foray into dramatic play during the preschool years, by kindergarten -- according to PBS Parents -- she is extending her make believe activities into personal expression, thinking about other people and cultures, and creating her own props or scenery. Kindergarten fantasy and make believe activities, whether at home or in school, can help the young child to learn new concepts and develop abilities, such as creative thinking and problem solving.

Different Cultures and Countries

Now that your kindergartner is ready to understand other cultures and places, help him to get a grip on these social studies-type topics through fantasy and make believe activities. Give your child costume choices that reflect various cultures such as a Japanese kimono or a French beret. Discuss the country or culture of origin for each costume piece, showing your child pictures or even video clips of people from that region. Encourage your child to dress up and create his own skit or pretend play scenario that takes him to a different place.

Characters

Whether your kindergarten-aged kid is a superhero fan or can't get enough of his favorite friend from a storybook, characters make creative ways to start a fantasy or make believe play scene. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, dressing up like someone else -- such as a beloved character -- provides children with the chance to transform into someone else. When your 5-year-old puts on a Superman costume and enacts his own pretend play, he is becoming everything that his imagination wants, such as being super strong. Additionally, using a character from a book for a make believe play activity can connect drama to your child's budding literacy development.

Community Helpers

The school nurse, the crossing guard, a policeman, a fire fighter and your child's pediatrician are all community helpers that may factor into her fantasy play. Your kindergartner can learn about the vital roles that these people play in her, and everyone else's, life. Give your child dress up clothes or have her make her own props. Cut a piece of red card stock paper into a stop sign and tape a craft stick to the back to make a prop for a crossing guard or police person play.

Family Play

Young children may choose a make believe scenario that is close to home such as play acting as moms and dads. Setting up a play kitchen or dining area gets your kindergarten-aged child to think about the roles that his parents hold. Your kindergartner can take on the role of Dad, while his sister plays Mom or the child. She can then make a mock dinner using plastic food or spend time taking care of the pretend baby.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

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