“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.”- Mr. Rogers
Young children “play pretend” because it’s fun, but it’s also an important part of their development. There are so many reasons why imaginative play is great for children.
- It’s a way to work out their feelings. Things that are scary (like going to the doctor or school) can be practiced and role-played.
- It helps them to learn empathy by putting themselves in other people’s roles. Children are born with a very egocentric world view and learning that other people have feelings too can be a difficult concept. Imaginative play helps children learn this because they are literally putting themselves in the position of a different person.
- It’s a great way to practice social skills. Playing with other children encourages everyone to work together and listen to each other’s ideas and opinions.
- It’s good for their communication skills and language development.
The Saline County Library Youth Services Department encourages imaginative play in our youngest patrons by having play areas in the children’s sections of both the Bob Herzfeld Memorial Library in Benton, and the Mabel Boswell Memorial Library in Bryant. These play areas are updated and changed every few months, so if you haven’t been in to see us in a while, be sure to come by soon!