For Immediate Release
10 Reasons Why Parents Should Engage their Child in Make Believe
In today’s world of electronic games and television, children do not visit the make believe world as often as children in the past have done. In fact, there are some children who don’t do it, at all! Shutting off the electronics or limiting TV and Computers to one or two hours a day is a healthy choice for children. Children’s work is play, and when they are not able to do this, their cognitive development is stunted. Cognitive development includes the development of mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as well as influencing emotional and decision making processes.
Connie Dunn, author of “Grandma Honey, I Turned into a Mermaid,” says “Children who have creative play or create make believe worlds develop their creativity. Every person needs to be creative so that they can figure out how to solve problems and create things, everything from art to new electronic gadgets. When children don’t explore make believe, they simply grow up without the ability to imagine how anything could work or how to imagine solutions to problems. Our world has always been filled with problems. It is the creative people, who can imagine solutions, that will always be needed.”
Here are 10 reasons that your child needs to play in the Make-Believe World:
- When you think of imagination and make believe, you probably conjure up images of children pretending to be fireman, policeman, ballerinas, singers, etc. It is because children develop strong “imaginations” that, as adults, we are able to use that “imagination” to solve problems or invent something new or solve problems.
- Imaginative play can help develop a child’s vocabulary, especially when adults engage their children in the make believe world and use words to name items, such as “fairy castle” or “hunter” or “hero” or other words that match something in their make believe world. Imaginative play also engages symbols, such as using a towel for a cape. The use of symbols helps develop language skills, which is wholly made up of symbols. Words are symbols for the item they represent, such as “spoon” represents the eating utensil with a shallow bowl used for spooning in cereal and soup.
- Children learn how to process what happens in the “real” world by taking it into their make believe world where it is safe to explore many outcomes.
- Children develop their memory skills by remembering where they left their on-going narrative in their make believe world.
- Perception is a complicated process, which is a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something, such as a mental impression. While children play in their make believe world, they develop the ability to perceive or observe and interpret what they are seeing. This is essential for learning just about anything.
- Reasoning is another concept that children develop through creative play within their make believe world. It is safe in that world, which allows children to develop their ability to analyze and perhaps explore all sides of an issue. This is the beginnings of learning to argue a point, which is handy in debates. It is also useful in persuading someone to see their side of something. Logical arguing may not be appreciated in a five-year old, but it is essential in being a lawyer.
- Thinking skills are acquired and improved through the imaginative play in the world of make believe. After all, the make believe world is completely a vision of a child’s own thoughts. When children get together and develop their world collaboratively, they also gain communication skills.
- Intelligence is having the ability to apply knowledge and skills. While a young child will not likely be able to communicate their intellect, they cultivate a wide variety of intellectual concepts while playing in an imaginary world, which sets the stage for them to progress farther in the “real” world as they grow up.
- The mind is an infinite hard drive that we fill with all sorts of experiences “real” or “imagined.” Because we learn early in our life how to stretch our mind around complex concepts through our make believe play, we are capable of expanding our thought processes well beyond the ideas that we are given.
- As children get a little older, taking on different roles allows them to explore what it is like to be another, which develops compassion.
“By the time children are 12 to 18 months old, they should be able to pretend. It may be limited to pretending to eat and drink, and it may involve realistic props, such as a plastic cup or spoon. Parents should encourage this type of play by pretending to eat or drink whatever they offer. If parents do not engage in this creative play with their child, they actually discourage their child from learning and interacting,” says Connie Dunn, author of “Grandma Honey, I Turrned into a Mermaid,” which is all about make believe. Grandma Honey and Destiny talk on the phone every week. On a hot summer day, Destiny wanted to go swimming, but Daddy said, “No.” Grandma Honey suggested she pretend to go swimming! Who would have guessed at all the interesting things that happen in a swim in the ocean? Destiny turned into a mermaid and Granma Honey joined Destiny, as a mermaid. However, when Destiny wanted to live there, Grandma Honey had to explain some of the limits of Make Believe.
Connie Dunn wrote “Granma Honey, I Turned into a Mermaid.” It is illustrated with handmade puppets. Photos were shot by Andy Heller of Andy Heller (http://hellerphoto.com) Photography of Attleboro, MA Imaginative play can help develop vocabulary, especially when adults engage their children in the make believe world and use words to name items, such as “fairy castle” or “hunter” or “hero” or other words that match something in their make believe world. Imaginative play also engages symbols, such as using a towel for a cape. The use of symbols helps develop language skills, which is wholly made up of symbols. Words are symbols for the item they represent, such as “spoon” represents the eating utensil with a shallow bowl used for spooning in cereal and soup.
“Grandma Honey, I Turned into a Mermaid” is the third book in a series called, “Destiny Has Two Grandmas.” Connie Dunn is a member of the United Regional Chamber of Commerce and helps entrepreneurs and others write their books – non-fiction or fiction. “Everyone has at least one book in them,” says Dunn. “It’s my job to help them get it into an electronic file and published it either as an e-book or print book. In today’s publishing world, where you can choose an on-demand method of distribution and the power of Amazon.com, the up-front cost can be Zero Dollars. When you indie publish your own book, you retain ownership of your material, which is important for entrepreneurs. That material can become blogs, courses, or podcasts. On the flip side, your book can also be taken from blogs, courses, or podcasts..”
“Grandma Honey, I Turned into a Mermaid” is scheduled to be published on February 1, 2016. Advanced copies can be ordered at http://mermaid.publishwithconnie.com/