Dramatic Play -Why do we promote it?

"...Over the years in my work with young children, I admit that I have auditioned for countless acting roles in spur-of-the-moment pretend play episodes. I have cheerfully appeared in the productions envisioned by multiple great child directors. Although, even with much practice, my dramatic abilities have never risen beyond low average, my enthusiasm for the spontaneous creativity of young children has rocketed. In the wonderful world of children’s imaginative play, I have been chosen to take on such personas as a fairy whose magic wand was broken, a nosey next-door neighbor, and a gracious dinner guest. Without much resistance, I have been known to agree that the invisible china plates are beautiful and the pretend soup, although steaming hot, is quite delicious. I have blown on the 'soup' to cool it before taking a sip, simply because a child has directed me to do so; and I have silently waited to be fed the next line in our script.

"From the safe arena of pretense play, children can explore the complexities of human life to include culture, society, emotions, meanings, and the daily activities that guarantee human survival. During pretend play, the child has the capacity to transform an ordinary room into any scene imaginable and may take on the perspectives of others. From the view of play, the child not only develops empathetic feelings for others, but also gets a feel for what it means to be a person. The child at play displays a most remarkable e economy of thought, using what she has observed to form new ideas about life, family, and community and likewise, using what she 'has' to represent props she doesn’t have. In this way, a block 'becomes' a car and the kitchen floor 'becomes' a superhighway."