How important is the symbolic game? A lot, according to Russian psychiatrist Lev Vygotsky. For Vygotsky, who published his theories in the early twentieth century, playing fantasy is essential for the healthy development of a child. Symbolic play is how children overcome their impulsivity and develop thoughtful behaviors that will help them with more complicated cognitive functions.
Symbolic game in childhood
But there is more. The symbolic game is a springboard towards literacy and arithmetic. When we write letters and numbers, we’re using symbols for what we want to convey. When children participate in symbolic games, they practice this same concept.
Experts point out that a child who follows a sequence when playing (stirring milk and then feeding the wrist) will also be able to handle the syntax in the language (“I need paper and colors”).
Skills that Improve with Symbolic Play
Here is a list of five areas that are strengthened when your child participates in symbolic games.
- Cognitive skills. When your child exercises his imagination, he creates new neural pathways and learns to think creatively. This skill will help them solve problems as they grow. While they play, they represent experiences they have found and connect in their brains how to deal with them.
- Social skills. Symbolic game teaches one child to see the “other”. Because some children may think differently than they do, your child learns to cooperate and negotiate.
- Self-esteem. Symbolic play exercises cognitive skills, as we mentioned. Your child needs to come up with a plan and a way to carry it out. Target reached? That is a big impetus to develop self-esteem.
- Language. Your child needs a memory developed to understand that an object can represent something other than itself. This is the first step in language acquisition. Playing is a great way to develop your vocabulary.
- Motor skills. Playing involves action. As your child plays, develop fine and thick motor skills. Watch your children playing and you will most likely hear both sets of practiced skills: “Who spilled all the chips? Now I have to pick him up! is mixed with “The last until the end of the yard is a rotten egg!”
What are the other types of game?
Symbolic play is just one of the many types of play that are important for your child’s overall development. Other types include:
- game Language
- game Sensory stimulating
- Research game (exploratory)
- play Building
- game Physical (motor)
- Expressive (creative)
Each type of game develops your child’s skills in a way unique, but they are all equally important. The easiest way to provide complete gaming experiences is to let your child have plenty of time to play at home.
From now on you know how important it is for your children to play through the symbolic game. It will fill your mind with creativity and imagination so important in your lives. Do not hesitate to play with them whenever they ask you!