Playing Make-Believe: Real World Preparation

Today’s blog post is submitted by our featured guest contributor, Rachel Taylor, M.S.  Enjoy the post and look forward to future posts from Rachel.

“No playing until you’ve done all of your homework!”  A fairly common phrase and one that we’ve probably used frequently as parents.  However, research suggests that imaginative play actually increases a child’s ability to be successful academically.

A study was conducted that showed children of parents or caregivers who participated in imaginative play made significant gains in the readiness skills for school as compared to those parents or caregivers who did not encourage or participate in this type of play.  A significant percentage of American children enter kindergarten unprepared.  Imaginative play is just one way that parents and caregivers can help children become more prepared for both school and social interactions, while having fun with their kids. 

If you are interested in learning more, researchers developed a video titled “Learning Through Play For School Readiness,” which educates parents and caregivers on how to engage 3-5 year olds in imaginative games that encourage key developmental skills and an advanced vocabulary.  

Rachel Taylor is a Marriage and Family Counselor in private practice in Corvallis.  She provides parenting education as well as child, family, individual and couples counseling services.