The Importance Of Imaginative Play

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Most of us have fond memories of playing when we were young, including using our imagination to create worlds. Imaginative play, or pretend play, has been described as transforming the present moment in which a child exists (Garvey & Berndt, 1975). It usually involves maneuvering one’s perception of reality creating a pretend world within the mind of the child pretending (Garvey & Berndt, 1975). Though the purpose of imaginative or pretend play is not completely clear evidence suggests that play may help children to develop cognitively, emotionally, and to feel a sense of control (Smith & Lillard, 2012). In childhood individuals learn the “right” way to behave in accordance with their gender (Green & Piel, 2010). Furthermore, there is …show more content…
In doing so they learn to inhibit some behaviors and engage in others through self-monitoring, planning, and reflection (Bodrova et al, 2013). Research has shown that when children are playing a role they can attend to a task longer than when they are asked to do the task outside of the realm of play such as when asked to stand still and be a lookout versus just being asked to stand still (Bodrova et al, 2013). This supports the idea that children learn to inhibit some behaviors and engage in others through play, thereby learning to regulate …show more content…
Though Vygotsky believed that pretend play was confined to early childhood, he believed that it begins when children are toddlers, thrives during the pre-school years, and progresses into very complex roles and scenarios played out with peers (Berk & Meyers, 2013; Bodrova et al, 2013). However, despite his belief that pretend play ended around the age of 6, Vygotsky did believe that pretend play had a vital role in development and even creates the zone of proximal development (ZPD) (Bodrova et al, 2013). Studies since Vygotsky support the idea that the ZPD includes assistance in the form of pretend play (Bordova et al,

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