Role Playing and Your Children’s Cognitive Development

Does your little girl love wearing your pumps and dress? How do you react when your little boy asks for his Dad’s heated motorcycle clothing or shades?

I remember RJ was nearly 3 years old when she showed interests with my stuff. I saw her wearing my shoes and slippers and playing with my bags. Now that she is nine, she sometimes asks if she can borrow them. There are also times she asks me if she can wear some make up. Honestly, I found it alarming at first. I thought that media is pushing her to be a grown up because it is what she sees on TV. But then I realized she just wanted to play dress-up and have a taste of how is it like to be an adult. Now, I am used to RJ’s dressing- up and role playing. She has done everything from being Cinderella, teacher, cashier and a Mommy like me. Everytime I watch her mimic characters especially “me”, I can’t help but smile. She is indeed a good actress.

This naturally occurring role-play is part of children’s growing up that helps them understand other’s thinking and beliefs and according to the experts, it contributes to children’s cognitive development. In research on pretense and cognitive relationship, experts found out that pretense helps in mind development, problem solving and other cognitive strategies, academic skill development, and social and linguistics competence.

So the next time your children ask for your or your husband’s stuff that you think cannot harm them, don’t say no. Let them express themselves and develop their abilities.


  1. Eric Graham says:

    At early age, kids must teach important things to develop cognitive skills. For 3 years younger, motor development is focused.

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