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Roleplay

MIME ACTIONS EVEN WITHOUT OBJECTS

Even though we like to provide children with a variety of toys for « make believe » (such as a kitchenette, a workbench, a castle, etc.), you can sometimes only use your hands to mime the action without using any object.  This will allow you to make more varied and imaginary gestures. Pretend you are getting on a horse, battling a dragon with an imaginary sword, placing a crown (imaginary, of course) on your head, and swimming across the river, etc.

ENCOURAGE THE CHILD TO CHOOSE HIS ROLE

The child may want to become the airplane pilot, or the veterinarian or the logger.  Let him choose the role he is interested in.  This will encourage him to participate more, rather than imposing a role that he doesn’t like as much. If the child hesitates, offer him a choice.  It may be easier for him.  You will have the opportunity to reverse the roles some other time.

TAKE UP A ROLE IN THE GAME

Rather than directing the child’s game (ex: « you could ask your friend if he wants some help ») play the game and participate in the activity.Therefore, rather than saying to your child: « You could ask your friend if he wants help », take up a disguise as a mechanic, knock on the door and say: « Good morning Sir, I heard that your car is not working.  I could examine it if you want me to, and my assistant (while pointing at the child) could help me ». Children love for adults to participate in their game in this way.

MAKE THE GAME LAST LONGER

At first, the child will make one or two actions in the game, such as taking soup from the bowl and feeding the doll. As you are playing, you can add steps, such as cooking the soup, pouring it in a bowl with a spoon, blowing on it to make it colder, stirring it a little, tasting it, and then giving it to the doll. Then, you can wash the doll’s mouth and put the bowl away, etc. In time, children will also add all kinds of steps in the game.