Did you know that role-playing or playing dress-up can help expand your child's imagination? Experts say that children who are encouraged to use their imagination during play may become better problem solvers and have better self-esteem because it allows them to gauge how certain actions will be received through hypothetical situations. Hence, they will be confident when dealing with actual situations.

Role-playing is a more effective way to learn about grownup jobs than simply reading about them. Acting them out will give kids a deeper understanding of the way things work once they steps out into the real world.

So gather up some props and set the stage for your child's maximum learning.

1. Shop Assistant

In this game, your child is a shop assistant in charge of an entire store!

What you need:

  • Empty boxes and plastic bottles

  • Calculator

  • Play money

  • Basket

  • Paper bags

How to play:

  • Create a makeshift store out of empty boxes and plastic bottles.

  • Have your child assist you in choosing which groceries to buy.

  • After choosing the groceries, have your child bag the items and collect the money.

  • You and your child can even switch roles from time to time.

What he learns:

  • Creative ways to sell products

  • Basic math skills when he computes for the total amount of items bought, as well as counting change

  • The value of money

2. Mr. Postman

If your child enjoys getting mail, he would enjoy being the postman just as much.

What you need:

  • Discarded junk mail

  • Stickers

  • Inkpad and stamp

  • Sling bag

  • Play money

  • Small boxes

How to play:

  • Have your child play the role of a clerk. Let him stamp and weigh each letter, and then collect the fee.

  • Another activity is to have him write an actual handwritten letter to a relative in another city or country. Knowing that the process worked and that your loved one received his personal message will be a fun experience for your kid.

What he learns:

  • Maps and geography as he learns about the location of places within the country and the rest of the world.

  • Traditional mailing system and how letters and packages are sent to different places.

3. Teacher

Your child will learn a lot by taking the lead role in a classroom setting.

What you need:

  • Chairs

  • Blank wall

  • Chalk

How to play:

  • Set up your chair or armchair in front of a blank wall, where your little professor can hold his lectures while you play the part of a devoted student.

  • Give him a piece of chalk and free rein to write on his improvised “blackboard”.

  • You can even set up rows of chairs and invite some of his closest pals to enroll in this very special class.

  • When it’s his turn to play a student, teach him to be attentive and tell him that in order to be listened to, he must learn to listen to others. Remind him to raise his hand when he wants to recite or ask as many questions as he likes.

  • Give him intangible rewards such as more time to play with his pets, swim, or ride his bike. This is also a good way for your child to be participative and active in class while instilling in him the value of respect.

What he learns:

  • Motor and language skills as he interact with his make-believe students.

  • Imparting his acquired knowledge to others helps him master it even more.

4. Farmer

This can serve as a good pastime for you and your kid if you are into gardening.

What you need:

  • Shovel

  • Gardening gloves

  • Packet of seeds

How to play:

  • Give your child a shovel, a pair of gardening gloves, and packets of seeds to plant.

  • After planting the seeds, tell your child to sell fresh produce like grapes, corn, and eggplant in a makeshift booth. If there are any leftovers, help him prepare a dish out of these ingredients so they won't go to waste.

What he learns:

  • A better appreciation of his natural environment

  • The value of honest-to-goodness hard work

5. Doctor

Help take away his fear of visiting the pediatrician for check-ups with this game.

What you need:

  • White robe or laboratory gown

  • Toy medical equipment (i.e. stethoscope, first aid kit)

How to play:

  • Have your child perform pretend procedures with you as his patient.

  • Have him check your pulse, eyes, and skin, and then give you his "professional" assessment.

What he learns:

  • The importance of good health

  • May also help take away his fear of visiting the pediatrician for a check-up

6. Firefighter 

Your child finally gets the chance to play the hero in this make-believe emergency situation.

What you need:

  • Firefighter’s cap

  • Fire hose

  • Coat

How to play:

  • Have your kid dress up like a firefighter while you pretend to be the person asking for help.

  • He should be able to get through the imaginary fire safely and lead you away from danger as quickly as possible.

What he learns:

  • Awareness of the ins and outs of his house—especially where the emergency exits are—encouraging presence of mind and quick-thinking.

7. Policeman

Rules and laws are important in learning, and now you can teach your child about it in a fun way!

What you need:

  • Whistle

  • Cap

How to play:

  • Have your child dress up like a policeman.

  • There are plenty of scenarios involving your friendly neighborhood policeman that you can recreate, such as helping a lost child find his mom or catching a bad guy.

What he learns:

  • Understanding of norms and acceptable behavior will help your kid to be not only book smart, but also street smart and practical.

Through creative role-playing, your child will learn to see the world through the eyes of people he sees on a regular basis. Having a wide range of perspectives enables him to improve intellectually and help him acquire values like cooperation, obedience, discipline, and courtesy. In turn, you will be fulfilling your dual roles as a loving parent and as the primary promoter of his maximum learning.


• C.B. Tinglof. The Stay-at-Home Parent Survival Guide: Real-Llife Advice from Moms, Dads, and Other Experts. 2000. NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group. USA.
• How to Teach Children to Role Play. Retrieved June 30, 2010, from the eHow website:
• Role-play Ideas for Kids. Retrieved June 30, 2010, from the eHow website:
• Help Your Child To Achieve Their Ambitions. Retrieved March 17, 2011, from the eParenting website: http://www.eparenting.co.uk/parenting/will_your_child_achieve_their_ambi...

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