Make believe and role play

Make believe games and role play lets children guide their own learning and explore ideas.

Playing alone or with others lets your child understand their world, how they fit in and build a sense of identity. Storytelling and dramatic games allows children to use their imaginations, express ideas and build an understanding of their own individuality. Your child may create fantasy worlds or draw upon things they see in their own world.

Exploring gender roles (playing mums and dads), different jobs (playing cops and robbers, hair dressers or shops) or reverse roles (say you are the baby and they are the parent) lets children experiment with ideas and concepts they see in their environment.

By joining in with your child’s play and following their lead, you can boost your child’s self-esteem and help them to develop a sense of worth.

Getting involved
  • Ask questions about the role or game your child wants to play.
  • What sort of things should they wear, or say, to pretend?
  • Do they know anyone who is a… (baker, police officer, hairdresser, teacher?)
  • Old clothes and props can be used as dress ups.

Image Young children interact, helping each other with dress up items as they play

Published — 21 September 2016 Last updated — 02 November 2016

Want personalised tips and activities?

Complete these short questions to get personalised tips and activities to see how simple and easy it can be.

Get started
01 / 05

What is your relationship with the child?

MotherFatherGrandmotherGrandfatherCarer/Guardian

What best describes your location?

Metro
Regional
Remote

If you had a spare moment, what would you most likely do with the child?

Metro
Regional
Remote

And finally…

Do you speak another language at home apart from English?
Are you of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent?
Does the child need additional support with their development or learning?
Now we know a little more about the content that might interest you we’ve compiled it into a handy page for you.
Go