Nowadays, you rarely see children playing outside, having fun with other kids in town. Most likely, what you’ll see are kids as young as three years old holding an iPad, playing an online game. While there may be benefits to playing video games, it is still essential for the development of a toddler to interact with other people.
If you’re a parent struggling to get your toddler out of their iPad zone, you have to make the activities with other kids a bit more engaging. Here’s a tip: invite other children to your home for a dress-up play!
Children have vast, open imaginations. No wonder they get easily attracted to video games. With a dress-up play, kids can wear straw cowboy hats and boots and act like Woody and Jessy from Toy Story. Just give your child a costume to wear — be it a doctor’s gown or a fireman’s hat — and you’ll see how far he or she can play with their imagination.
Dress-up plays encourage kids to interact and communicate with other children. Also, since they’re in a costume and playing a character, children will likely experiment with their language. They will probably imitate how a superhero or a nurse would talk. With that kind of exploration, dress-up plays, in a way, help develop the communication skills of a child.
Playing with costumes is a powerful lesson on empathy. By putting themselves in someone’s shoes, children can enhance their empathy towards other people. Ask your kid wearing a doctor’s costume what he or she will do when a patient comes, and you’ll notice how he or she understands other people’s feelings and behaviors.
Just try introducing costumes to your kids and make the environment conducive for imaginative play. Who knows, one day he or she may no longer be as excited about the iPad as he/she is about interacting with people.