I love imaginative play. I came home from work a few days ago to homemade soup in a restaurant in the play room. It was fabulous to play with Parker, following his lead in the land of his imagination. Yesterday, I couldn’t find my pots and pans and the kitchen utensils were spread around the house. After searching the house, I found the pots and pans in the play room restaurant. Both of the kids are pretending to prepare food, cook, and serve. They are having so much fun and I love seeing them use their imaginations to create their own environment for play.
Pretend play can help children learn to develop executive function. Executive function is a set of cognitive skills that allow a person to achieve a goal. While playing different roles, children control that character’s behavior and emotions. They can develop the skills of planning, time management, working memory, and self-regulation. Experiencing success with these skills while in another role, children can generalize them as part of their own behavior. Childhood play is important for social, emotional and cognitive development.
The challenge for me will be to provide enough props for Parker and Brandon to use for any situation they can come up with. Be it the grocery store, the jungle, a train ride, or a trip to the moon, I look forward participating in any adventure my kids take me on.
By the way, I found my vegetable steamer in the backyard full of rocks. Still not sure what my boys thought they were cooking.