what symbolic play is?
Symbolic play is an activity in which children play and imitate situations, circumstances, or people, symbolic play is playing "as if". That is, the child plays the doctor as if he/she were a real doctor; he/she plays the mummy looking after her doll as if she were a real mom.
Symbolic play helps young children to interpret and assimilate the world around them.
Although it is true that this game is intuitive and children play it spontaneously, parents can also stimulate it. Play with the child in his or her fantasy. When the child wants to play, follow the child's lead.
- From 2 to 3 years old. This is characterized by children playing alone, although they may be with other children. They are not organized games and do not have a coherent or logical beginning, middle, and end. The passage to the next level or stage of symbolic play occurs when the child begins to socialize and interact with other children in play.
- From 3 to 4 years of age. They accept the symbolic play of other children and may even take part in it by sharing the same play. Here children already have a higher level of imitation capacity, socializing even more among themselves. After the age of 4, they adapt much more and better to social reality, as they can put aside their egocentrism a little and play in situations or things in their immediate environment.
- At around 5 years of age, children become interested in social roles. Thus they are included in games and play at being firemen, policemen, etc.
Objectives of symbolic play
- To have a meaningful and active type of learning.
- To promote knowledge of the world around the child.
- To make it a mode of communication (the form of communication par excellence used by children).
Benefit fine motor and gross motorkills in children from 2 years of age onwards.
Enable socialization and communication
Improve language and social bonds.
What is developed through symbolic play?
- Promotes creativity and imagination.
- Facilitates the learning of new behaviors.
- It allows children to learn about social skills such as teamwork, friendship, cooperation, and empathy.
- Benefits the acquisition of symbolic language, associated with this type of play.
- Facilitates proprioceptive and vestibular awareness.
- Benefits vocabulary enrichment.
- Helps to structure thinking.
Examples of symbolic play
- Playing mummy or daddy with dolls playing the role of their own children.
- Playing doctor.
- Playing at being Spiderman or Batman by simply dressing up as them.
- A group of 6-year-olds playing that the floor is made of lava, jumping between the different pieces of furniture in a house.
Why is symbolic play important in early education?
- Enrich their lexicon.
- Increase their intellectual capacity.
- Develop their social skills.
- They develop their language.
- They stimulate their creativity.
- Increase their motor skills (both fine and gross)
Make sure his toys are stimulating in this way. For example, buy them a nursing kit, a doctor's kit, a mechanic's kit or a carpenter's kit so that they have the tools to personify each character in the game.
It is important to take into account the personal tastes of each child.
Encourage them to play and create different characters and situations. If the child is very young, help him/her to create his/her own stories, but with your help.
Now that you know all this, put it into practice with your children and have lots of fun.