Imaginative play increases a child’s concentration and attention span. Researchers conducted a study to demonstrate that a child’s ability to control their impulses is much better when imagining a dramatic scene than a non-play situation. When asked to stand still for as long as possible, 4 year old children typically did not make it past one minute. However, when asked to imagine themselves as castle guards, the children stood for as long as four minutes.
Imaginative playing promotes observation skills and increases verbal expression. Creating roles and filling out a fully-fashioned character requires children to draw on their observations of the world around them. To communicate these observations, they further expand their vocabulary and begin to connect rules of effective communications with social interactions.
A great way to promote imaginative play is with puppets. Children love communicating through the puppets and it is a fun way to get the children to listen to you. In situations where it is difficult for them to concentrate on your words by simply telling them, they may be able to follow through with puppets.