Is this the real me or is it fantasy? Come to my party, let’s escape from reality.

By on July 12, 2014

Make believe play is fun for children. Little girls like to play characters they see as their role model. Little girls oftentimes like to be a princess and boys like to be super heroes. When kids get together at birthday parties, the desire to role play as a group becomes even more exciting and fun.

Imaginative play is undisputably fun but is it important? Cognitive psychologists link pretend play to the enhancement of the child’s capacity for cognitive flexibility and curiosity associated with increased creativity. Clinical Child Psychologist Sandra Russ of the University of Pittsburgh made an important research in 2004 identifying different cognitive and affective processes associated with imaginative play involving fantasy, make-believe and divergent thinking or the ability to create stories, ideas, symbols and themes.

The research suggests that pretend games help in the capacity of children to self-regulate that includes reduced aggression, civility and delayed gratification. Toys and special effects used in games are seen as symbols for scenarios that allow them to pick up social, communication, problem-solving and empathy skills.

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