Role Plays in Early Childhood

    Role Plays in Early Childhood

    How to perform role plays in early childhood?

    A baby can be shown a role play toy starting already from the second month of life. Use a roly-poly doll or a gingerbread  for this purpose with large and pleasant features. Sometime later your baby will enjoy viewing such toys – he will be excited and will smile when seeing a beloved toy. It will be a good way to encourage his social and emotional development.

    A baby up to 6-7 months old cannot play with a role play toy for its intended purpose. He will just take it with his hands to study, to view, to touch, to taste.

    Below there is a description of some situations to play within the first and second years of child’s life, as well as possible game actions and their sequence. We intentionally do not offer a detailed description of each game, as you can formally play these scenes; we just set a direction to you.

    While organizing games, you should consider the interests and wishes of your child, the degree of mastering the game skills, of showing his own imagination and creativity, flexibility to vary his behavior in a game. Of course, these examples of role plays are not the only possible ones. You can draw situations from your little child’s life, the books you read to him, and from his favorite cartoons.

    6-12 months – development of a role play

    Simple situations for the very young children

    After 6 months, your baby will watch your actions in a role play with pleasure and interest. You can play simple situations of 1-2 actions in front of him – bunny is being fed, doggy is jumping, dolly is riding on a horse, rooster is singing, etc.

    Of course, each role play toy is intended to show the actions of a similar living being: a doll reflects a person’s actions, of a child in particular; a bird or a butterfly flies and flutters; a horse trots, neighs, and so on.

    Organizing dinner

    • Lay the table, set cutlery.
    • Cook soup, porridge on the stove (in an empty saucepan or put buttons, small balls, beads, sticks, etc. in it) and feed the doll with a spoon, a stick, a hand. You can use a cube or other flat object as a stove.
    • Boil an egg (a ball), blow on it to cool it down, “break” it with a spoon (a stick), feed the doll, the teddy bear.
    • Bake cakes (you can use balls, rings, buttons, cubes, colored paper or plasticine shapes), feed the doll and animals.
    • Feed the doll soup, porridge, some bread, cut a sausage with a knife (a stick), use a ball, a cube, a stick, lego or mosaic details, a wrapper, a ball as a sausage.
    • Boil milk, pour juice, water dolls, give them cookies and candies (use plastic lego or mosaic details, a wrapper, a ball).
    • Feed the doll fruits and vegetables (they can be painted or cut out of colored paper, or they can be just many-colored shapes, for example a green ellipse is a cucumber, an orange triangle is a carrot, a red circle is an apple or a tomato, a green striped circle is a watermelon).
    • Wash the dishes, wipe them with a towel. You can wash the dishes with a palm or a piece of a sponge, a piece of cloth can be used instead of a towel.

    You can perform game actions without objects, just with fingers, palms, and gestures (e.g. “take” an imaginary candy or a nut with fingers, give an empty palm to a teddy bear and offer him an apple.)

    You can also read and play different rhymes about food like this one:

    Pop a little pancake into a pan,
    Pop a little pancake into a pan,
    Pop a little pancake into a pan,
    I’ll eat it for my dinner.

    Shake in the sugar with a shake, shake, shake,
    Shake in the sugar with a shake, shake, shake,
    Shake in the sugar with a shake, shake, shake,
    I’ll eat it for my dinner.

    Squeeze in the lemon with a squeeze, squeeze, squeeze,
    Squeeze in the lemon with a squeeze, squeeze, squeeze,
    Squeeze in the lemon with a squeeze, squeeze, squeeze,
    I’ll eat it for my dinner.

    Toss a little pancake up in the air,
    Toss a little pancake up in the air,
    Toss a little pancake up in the air,
    I’ll eat it for my dinner.

    Eat it all up with a yum, yum, yum,
    Eat it all up with a yum, yum, yum,
    Eat it all up with a yum, yum, yum,
    I’ll eat it for my dinner.

    Rock-a-bye-bye-baby

    • Swaddle the doll.
    • Stroke and hug her.
    • Rock her in your arms.
    • Put her in a bed, cover with a blanket, and slightly shake the bed.
    • Sing a lullaby.

    It is necessary to wash up

    • Wash the doll in the tub (you can use a cube, a ball, a piece of foam rubber instead of soap and a sponge).
    • Wash the doll’s hair with shampoo (from a plastic bottle), wipe it with a cloth or a napkin.
    • Comb the doll’s hair (with a comb or a stick), let her look in the mirror.
    • Wash the doll’s face from a bowl.
    • Brush the doll’s teeth (you can use a children’s toothbrush or a stick).
    • Put her on a pot (use a bottle lid or a lower part of a plastic jar).

    Games with roly-poly dolls

    At first examine a roly-poly doll together with your baby. Show and then ask your baby to find its eyes, mouth, nose. Show the baby what the toy can do – it can swing and jingle. Let your baby play with it by himself for a while. You can then play a situation, for example, the roly-poly doll can dance – spin in one place, rock from side to side, etc.

    Play Peek-a-Boo game.

    Emotional context in the role plays

    When your baby is 10-11 months old you can complicate a role play – add emotional context in it. But such stories must be simple so that the baby easily understands them. When playing these games, let your baby learn about all exciting and sensual world of emotions: tears, laughter, joy, anger, fear, joy, sadness, etc.

    Game scenes, depending on the story, reflect an emotional world of a person. The child begins to understand the reasons for certain emotional states, for example, the doll began to cry, because it has fallen down; the doll is laughing because it loves to ride in a car, etc.

    Here is an example of such a story: the doll is riding on a horse, fell down, started crying, stood up, shook herself. Then sat on the horse again, started riding and singing a song, etc.

    You can also combine such emotional games with rhymes like these:

    They have dropped the Teddy Bear on the floor, (make your face and voice sad)
    They have torn off the Teddy Bear’s paw.
    But I’ll never leave him underfoot (make your face and voice happy)
    Because he’s pretty and so good!

    Or

    A girl has left her Bunny, (make your face and voice sad)
    In the rain was lying Bunny.(make a sad expression)
    But he’ll get soon off the floor, (make your face and voice happy)
    And will come back to his door!

    Even the youngest babies can empathy. Do not forget to cheer up the poor toys together with your baby at the end of the game, and watch them merrily dancing and laughing.

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