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Role play: playing into the world of the "big ones"

Why role play is so important

In their role-play, children gain important experiences and, so to speak, “play their way into the world of adults”. Specifically, that means:

1. In role play, the child deals with the world of adults. It simulates everyday situations and develops an understanding of the world of adults, their tasks and roles in daily life and also deals with different professions in a playful way.

2. In role play, the child learns to empathize with others. It slips into different roles, sometimes being a father or mother, a police officer, a pediatrician or a bus driver. It adopts different perspectives and learns to see the world “with different eyes” and to empathize with others.

3. Social behavior is practiced in role play. In joint role-plays, children have to coordinate with each other and, for example, agree on the distribution of roles and the course of the action. In this way they learn to fit into a group, to be tolerant, but also to bring in their own ideas and concepts, to enforce them or to make compromises. Children also learn from one another by observing one another.

4. In role play, a child learns and practices following rules. As the game progresses, the child understands what rules are for. And it is easier for him to do things that might otherwise be difficult for him but now belong to his role, for example to share, to remain silent, to keep still or to show perseverance.

5. The role play helps to process experiences and reduce fears. By role-playing what they have experienced, children can process it more easily. Fears can also be dealt with in this way: for example, some children try to overcome their fear of dogs by repeatedly playing to be a dog.

6. In role play, a child can "live out" internal conflicts. For example: A child who is not allowed to say “dirty” words simply lets his doll say these words in order to then scold them “as a mother”. The child plays the role of the "naughty doll child" and lives out what it is not allowed to do. At the same time, it slips into the role of the mother who scolds and thus adheres to the maternal rules again.

7. Children practice their language and expression skills in role play. You will get to know new words and learn to express yourself better and better and to understand others.