Babies’ imaginary games have deep meanings & high social relevance

Babies’ imaginary games have deep meanings & high social relevance

Many of us often observe kids around us play their own imaginary games- where kids enact roles of a doctor, teacher, mother, driver, fire fighter, police and pilot – all in some imaginary scenario. This begins early and is a way children familiarize themselves and understand the world they live in.
Such make believe, purely imaginary activities may appear symbolic, and may not make sense to adults, but are an important landmark in mental & social development for kids. This is how children knowingly, enact their physical observations, to make mental notes.
This fantasy develops their cognitive skills & divergent thinking. The way they creatively use unusual props to communicate as they play, sometimes with pillow as a baby, or a stick as gun, a toy as some weapon, mirror as a friend, they enact life experiences, build their own stories & symbols. This is all part of their early learning. They express, make gestures, talk with others, create their own language and draw meanings from what they may have seen or heard.
These activities help children learn words and their meaning, find correlation between things, understand others behavior as they construct and absorb different realities.
Behavioral research shows association between imaginative play and increased creative thinking in children. Those who pretend play, begin to integrate emotion with cognition very early in life and become more creative adults. They develop enhanced curiosity, quick reasoning, become fast learners, good problem solvers, develop respect for others and begin to take more responsibilities too.
With early experimentation on social and emotional roles of life, through imitation or imaginary games, they learn to creatively play their part. We have all witnessed them with imaginary cooking at home with no relevant ingredients in hand, or dousing of imaginary fire with no water, or calling the emergency number on TV remote, children in such self-created scenarios develop their cognitive thinking skills, that will help them in every aspect of their life, now and later.
It is important that parents foster this playful signature behavior in early childhood, read stories, enact characters from stories, and explain nature or social issues to children, as this helps in cultivating their thinking skills, develops confidence in them to verbally communicate, participate, enquire and learn to solve daily life problems.
Through this innate cognitive capability, children begin to assign meaning to objects, and transform their reality into a world through their eyes. When they pretend to be different characters, they create in their minds the significance of those characters, this childish exercise helps in their moral development, with more empathy towards others. It is normal for young children to do so, but through maturation and cooperative play, children begin to understand how the real world works.
This behavior is seen across cultures, where context and actions may vary, but imaginary activities are universal. From an evolutionary standpoint, pretend play heightens children’s sensitivity to social signs. Through their imagination they interpret, visualize, pretend, memorize and apply motor skills. This abstract thinking has deep development impact, as it provides them continuity to builds skills. In true Einstein way, they learn as kids, that beyond logic, it is their imagination that will take them everywhere

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