Pretend play, which is play that uses the imagination, develops a child's social, language and cognitive skills. Pretend play can be anything from playing princess or superhero to recreating reality-based situations. Some examples of reality-based pretend play include playing house and playing school. By playing school, young children practice leadership, learn how to follow directions and reinforce the behaviors necessary to become a successful student. Here are some hints for how to play school at home.
Gather your students. These may be human playmates, pets, dolls, stuffed animals or a mixture of all of these. Ring the bell to announce the start of school.
Lead your students in the Pledge of Allegiance by facing the flag, placing your right hand over your heart and reciting the words. If your pets or toys cannot or will not perform these behaviors, give them the benefit of the doubt. The Supreme Court has ruled that students may not be forced to say the Pledge.
Direct your students to sit down and get out a textbook. As the teacher, you will begin the lesson. Students may take turns reading from the book. Alternatively, you may choose to read out loud to your students if they are pets or toys.
Hand out worksheets to gauge your students' learning. Inanimate students or those with paws will not be able to complete the worksheets. Consider alternative assessments.
Administer discipline to students with poor behavior. Write their names on the board and inform them that they will have to stay indoors during recess. Toys tend to respond well to this discipline technique and will not move from their seats. Pets, on the other hand, may defy you and leave the classroom anyway. Repeated defiance may require alternative placement in an obedience school.
Give students their homework for the night and ring the bell to announce the end of the school day. Animate students may attend after-school sports activities, such as playing soccer in the park, running in a wheel or fetching a ball in the backyard. Inanimate students can join in with the assistance of a one-to-one aide.