More drama please!

More drama please!

The power of role play

more drama please
I never cease to be amazed at children’s role playing skills. I could listen to them all day. Last week my daughters were playing “sisters”, and decided to be teenage sisters for the morning. Then today they were at the circus…and suddenly they transformed into astronauts! Children are naturals at making the most of our imagination, and they can create worlds with any object in the house. 
Role play might seem just a game, but it is a fundamental part of a child’s development. For bilingual children, role play can also be an organised activity played with the parents to boost language skills.
Here are some ideas for joining in some role-play fun together!

Dress up!

Pick up any old dress, skirt, socks, bracelet… if you have fabric or even a pillowcase you might be able to add a cape to the mix! Wearing a costume, even if very simple, transports us into an imaginary world! Once you have dressed up, you can recreate a scene from a book or a movie, or make up your own dialogue. For those children who are not keen on using the parents’ language, this is a good way to get started, and it works better if the parent is willing to get completely involved, even if that means having red lipstick on your cheeks! The child can learn a lot of new language through role-play!

Telling stories

Pick a scene from a movie or a book and talk about it. This could be a guessing game… for example, you could describe a scene or a character and the child can guess the name of the book or film. You can also tell stories by creating a small puppet show. You can make simple finger puppets, but you can also go wild and create a home-made theatre!

Using puppets

Puppets allow children to talk using someone else’s voice. You can make puppets using anything, from toilet roll to old socks. There are many ideas out there on creating them using recycled materials. 

During times such as this one, using puppets can be very useful to share feelings and emotions that right now might be changing rapidly because of the changes in lifestyle due to restrictions. Use this opportunity to ask questions, and give your child time to answer and to ask their own questions. If they are lacking the language to have a dialogue, this is a good opportunity to spend time learning together. 

Here are some ideas to get creative using role-play. Be assured that most of us are not professional storytellers or puppeteers, everyone learns as they go along! Don’t try to be a perfect craft king or queen, but just have fun with it and use this opportunity to boost your child’s language and communication skills!


Dr Francesca La Morgia
Founder of Mother Tongues

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

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