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Role Plays -Fun, Education or Both?

Role Plays -Fun, Education or Both?

Role play activities are emerging out to be the best fun activities for kids. In a role play, the child impersonates a character and indulges in pretend play. This could be at an individual or group level. Role play ignites the imagination of the child. At the same time, it is a fun activity for kids. When we look at fun activities for kids, role plays definitely take the top position. Here are some reasons why role plays are beneficial:

 

  • It helps in developing conversational and communication skills.
  • It improves problem-solving and logical thinking ability among children.
  • It helps children relate to the situations and the world around them.
  • It aids in the physical development of the child as it is not a ‘’table-chair’ process.
  • It helps in building self-confidence among children.

 

There are two aspects of role-playing that can be analysed - as a fun activity for kids and as a children learning game. Here is how role play generates each of these:

 

Role Play As Fun Activities for Kids

 

Consider a typical set up for a role play. There would be some arrangement with the furniture or objects, one or many participants and a mediator. Role play of a chef would involve the setting of a kitchen, a participant who is playing the chef and the other could be a customer. In this scenario, it would be interesting to see what the customer asks for and how does the chef fulfil his wishes.

 

As fun activities for kids, there are many roles that they can enact. Role plays of community helpers like doctors, firefighters, milkman, policeman etc are popular. When kids play these roles, they end up learning a lot about these helpers. Role play based theme parks like Kidzania promises a lot of fun activities for kids. Spending a day at such a place would ensure that kids have a lot of fun as well as learn in the process.

 

Role Play as Learning Instrument

 

During role plays, kids are working on developing many of their skills. Skills like communication, negotiation, arbitration, listening and cognition are developed during role-playing activities. For their many benefits, role plays have now become an important part of the toddler curriculum too.

 

Learning through role plays are actually not age specific. As kids grow older, mock Parliaments, mock Stock Exchanges etc. are used to inculcate realistic learning among kids. Even in later stages of education like graduate schools and B-schools, there are always forums for role play which builds confidence to the students to take on their tasks later in life.

 

Neither of these takes precedence over the other. It is best when both fun and learning is achieved at the same time. There may be detractors for the concept who value conventional learning over experiential learning and fun activities for kids. But, role plays as a method of experiential learning have stood steady in the test of time. Every one of us likes to have fun. If fun activities for kids can induce learning, what more can you really ask for?