Family and Dramatic Play

Family and Dramatic Play

11 May 2018

Family and dramatic play provides opportunities for children to be creative and use their imagination to express themselves, as they take on the role of someone or something else. Through this play, children may create scenarios based on real-life to help them make sense of the world around them or alternatively, use their imagination to engage in play that is of their own creation.

The Ministry of Education website notes that family and dramatic play can help children to:

  • learn to socialise and communicate
  • understand new experiences
  • learn language, and practise using it
  • express their feelings
  • be creative by making up their own stories, chants and songs
  • learn about cooperating and understanding from another person’s point of view
  • gain confidence
  • practise problem solving
  • become familiar with the symbol systems of society such as letters and numbers.

Placing props and resources for family and dramatic play near other materials and equipment can enrich the play that occurs. For example, placing items near playdough may provide an opportunity for children to experiment with baking, cooking, and family play or resources next to a low table and cardboard boxes may provide an avenue for children to set up pretend shops.

Kaiako can support children in their family and dramatic play by joining in with them, using language that goes with the child’s play, asking open-ended questions to let children take the lead to decide how the play will evolve, and supporting children to share their ideas and put them into practice.

Here's some ideas for resources to promote family and dramatic play:

  • A range of fabric
  • Dress-up clothes and accessories
  • Small furniture – chairs, tables
  • A variety of cardboard boxes
  • Child-height mirror
  • A range of dolls, clothing, bedding and furniture
  • Utensils, mixing bowls, wooden spoons, etc.