Nothing promotes development and learning in the first five years of a child’s life like play! Child development specialists and psychologists recognize this fact and actually use play to deter1mine a child’s level of cognitive functioning- they can tell how smart your child is by watching her play. This simply means that if you want your child to be smarter, play with her! I want your child to be smart too- here are a couple helpful hints and incentives to make the most of your parent-preschooler playtime!

Social Role Playing: From Scooby-Doo to Jacob Two-Two

If you are the parent or child care provider of a preschool aged child there is a good chance that you’ve engaged in enough fantasy play or pretend play to last a lifetime. With each new role assigned to you by your 3-5 year old comes a custom-made script based on an accumulation of her cultural and social experiences. The story you play out is usually based on the things she has seen on TV, read in books, heard in songs, and gleaned from watching adults interact- all highlighted by her imagination.

Guided Participation: Wait a Second…Jimmy is Smarter than Me!

As parents and caregivers guide these playful interactions and collaborate with children in fun problem-solving activities children learn to adapt their understanding to new situations, develop analytical skills, and will eventually achieve mastery. You will be pleased to know that these simple supported interactions will enhance developmental change in your child and your child will be able to do more things better! So maybe it’s not so bad to play doctor when you could very well be laying the foundation for your child to become one!

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