The big new happening of Le Xin's play is her increased ability and enjoyment of dramatic play. What she does is that she will pretend and put herself in a role. She is able to differentiate between pretending and reality. For example, after she cooked her plastic food in a pot and poured them out on a plate, she will put one of the food near her mouth and pretend to eat it but she will not put it in her mouth.
To us adult, when we see a child engaging in dramatic play especially when he/she becomes very serious in his/her role, we generally find it "cute". Above and beyond the cuteness, we also need to know the many benefits that dramatic play would bring about. When children put themselves in roles of power when they pretend, the are learning to take control the situation that they are in. When they use objects and props for pretend play they are creating symbols for things they picture in their imagination and that's improvisation which is so essential.
Children who spent a lot of time in dramatic play, literally put themselves in someone's else shoes thus helping them to be more emphatic in real life, it's like imagining how someone else is feeling. Here's a great example of Le Xin playing at her housekeeping corner at home.
In this observation, Le Xin was seen mimicking what Daddy Scott and I have been doing at home. She pretended to iron my clothes with her self-improvised prop - her deep frying pan. She also hung the clothes with hangers and hang them on a rod which I prepared for her for role-playing. When I saw her engaging in the play with so much enthusiasm , I decided to offer her a box to extend her play. Mummy why did you give me a box? asked Le Xin Well, what do you think you can use the box for? I began to question her too. She thought for a while and placed all her clothes in. I was careful to follow her lead and not to dominate her play so I asked Would you like to share with Mummy what are you doing? Le Xin replied I am washing the clothes Mummy! Amazed with what she came up with, I said Wow that's some good washing, so what's this? (pointing to the box) any idea? Le Xin replied It's for washing and I asked her Is this a washing machine? Le Xin nodded and repeated after me Yes that's a washing machine.
Through this conversation, I realised that children's language can be more complex when they interact with someone. When interacting with her, I tried to ask her questions instead of telling her things for example... Is this a washing machine? because I do not wish to assume. The power of questioning, listening and then facilitating is so important when it comes to scaffolding young children, if only we have the luxury of time with our students in the preschools too, then we could also listen to their voices individual :p Nonetheless, let's us work on this for nothing is impossible :)
On a side note, I was also hoping she could learn the importance of helping out with house hold chores, hey people.... please don't accuse me of child label okay? Whahahaha
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