Preparing Your Child for School

Playing make-believe is normal for kids. All of us played the role of princesses, cops, superheroes, ballerinas, etc. at some point during our childhood. Remember how much fun you had.

Studies however, suggest that playing make-believe is not only fun for kids, it also helps prepare them for school.

Studies conducted by Singer and Singer’s (1992, 2001) research group trained parents, home care providers, and teachers in make believe games that also taught kids about numbers, colors, shapes, vocabulary, and reading.

The researchers discovered that kids who play with the trained adults in such “imaginative ways” benefited substantially in terms of readiness skills, compared to kids in a control group wherein the parents, teachers and/or care providers did not learn to play these imaginative skills.

The researchers also noted that playing make-believe is not only good for kids, but for their caregivers as well because “it involves them as full partners in children’s development.”

Significance of the study

The study has shown that playing make-believe greatly improves kids’ readiness skills, making it very useful tool in preparing kids for school. Psychology Matters reports that a large number of American kids, particularly those from low-income families, enter kindergarten “unprepared to learn.”

Though parents and other caregivers provide high-quality care which improve readiness skills, getting kids and parents to become involved in early intervention programs or learn early intervention techniques may be difficult.

On the other hand, imaginative play and make-believe games is a high-quality care that is: 1.fun for both kids and parents, 2. easier to teach than other intervention techniques, and 3. is (proven) effective in getting kids ready for school.

Source: Psychology Matters