How Pretend Play Helps Children Process Change
Have you noticed any new themes or scenarios in your child’s play since the pandemic began? Pretend play allows children to make sense of the world around them. Leaning on favorite dolls or plush friends can help your child process major changes, such as returning to in-person school experiences, broadening your COVID social circle, or welcoming a new sibling to the family.
As your family navigates changes, big or small, prioritize play and give these language prompts a try:
“Your Dinkum Doll is heading back to his school, just like you! It feels like he’s been doing Zoom school for a long, long time. Let’s pretend it’s his first day back. How is he feeling? Will you pretend to be the teacher or a student in his class?”
“I bet your Dinkum Doll also wears a mask when she visits the doctor’s office. Let’s make a mask that’s just her size and then you can teach her all about mask-wearing.”
“Your Dinkum Doll’s family is also preparing for a new baby! How can we help them get ready for the baby? How is your doll feeling about being a big brother?”
While playing, children experiment with a range of emotions or behaviors, take on specific roles, recreate past experiences, or tell new stories. Follow your child’s lead. If he or she is unwilling or unable to engage in complex conversations, remember that play is a powerful way to process big feelings. You may overhear your doll chatting with his or her doll about the very topics you’ve been eager to discuss!
Looking to add a new pretend friend to your home? Check out our collection of Dinkum Dolls HERE!
Article photo by @theautismcafe
The preschool years are pure magic, fueled by everyday investigations and pretend-play experiences. In this collection, you’ll find my favorite play...read more
School is in session, fall is in the air and Halloween is around the corner. To help you get a...read more
And another school year begins! There are many meaningful ways to support children through times of change. However, as a...read more