Role playing with your child is one of the most effective ways of helping them learn, communicate and bond with you, says a leading child psychologist.
1. Make it relevant to an activity that you’re doing or have done recently.
2. Help your child if he/she is stuck for ideas at the start but then stand back and let them direct the play. Be willing to take directions about the role-play without trying to change them or suggest your own ideas.
3. Be enthusiastic about your child’s ideas and praise them for their imagination.
4. Ask open-ended questions to encourage the progression of play – (e.g. ‘what shall we do with this baking tray?’ rather than ‘shall I put the baking tray in the oven?’).
5. Be creative with equipment – a saucepan doesn’t have to only be used as a saucepan, it can be a helmet or a drum or anything else that a child wants it to be.
Dr. Amanda Gummer is one of Working Mums’ childcare experts. If you have a question on childcare, click on any of the questions on the Ask the Expert page and fill in the post a question box.