This is best observed in the classroom, but can be observed at home. Observe the child with whatever dramatic play materials are available. Involve siblings, peers, and adults as players, too. Typically, materials related to familiar routines like cooking, going to a restaurant, etc. work well.
See what the child wants to play. The adult can provide options if needed. “Do you want to play restaurant or bus driver?” Let the child then assign roles and tell the other players what to do. The adult can insert ideas if needed. “Bus driver, can you stop and let me off at the corner?”
The child will play a role and will lead or follow in the dramatic play actions of others. The child engages in dialogue with other players.
Encourage early childhood educators and parents to be play partners and assume a role in the child’s dramatic play. Children love to pretend they are the boss, parent, waitress, etc. so they can tell the adult what to do! It is fun to see how the child wields power!
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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