Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Value of Make Believe

Children are born with a wild imagination and ability to play make-believe. They can take simple objects around the house and yard and transform them into just about anything they can dream up. Pots and pans become a drum set, furniture can become rocks in a sea of lava, and rugs have magical powers to fly them to anywhere in the world.

As your child learns to control their environment, a game of make believe is a way to expand their surroundings in a safe way. You may frown on their game that involves jumping from the furniture into an imaginary pool of water or their ability to jump from the top of the porch steps onto the grass below but to your child, these are a way to experiment both physically and mentally in a relatively safe way.

Make-believe can also take the form of inventing stories or scenarios. Your child can describe fantastical situations that would never happen in real life - fights with dragons, playdates with princes and princesses, walking on the moon and so much more.


Does Playing Make-Believe Help Your Child Academically?


You might think that rough and tumble games or pretending a large box is a boat floating around your living room are just for fun, but they offer so much more than that. Your child learns through play and exploration. Make-believe games give them the opportunity to develop hand and eye coordination, dexterity, depth of vision, balance, etc. It also stimulates their mind and emotions.


Using Play to Encourage a Love of Learning


You never have to ask your child if they would like to play. It is something that comes naturally to them. They learn as they play. The more they practice the better they get. The Montessori Method capitalizes on this. Each child grasps concepts at a different speed. Some things come easily, others take longer. By encouraging children to explore the world around them and asking them questions, rather than telling them the answer, they will learn intuitively.

Encouraging free thinking and allowing your child to explore and dream gives them the freedom to push the boundaries to escape into a world where anything is possible. It fosters self-confidence and a higher level of independence.

If you would like to learn more about the Montessori Method and how we nurture your child's inquisitive nature through play and exploration, contact the Mission Valley Montessori today to take a tour of our school. 

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