Parents might want to rethink the amount of time they let their children role-play as teachers and doctors in their make-believe worlds because these might actually be building the foundation of their future careers.
Renowned child education expert and De La Salle University-Manila professor, Maricar Gustilo-de Ocampo Ph.D., revealed that role-play, the most prevalent type of play among children, can help kids adapt better to the world around them.
“Play is the seed of learning,” said Dr. Gustilo-de Ocampo in her presentation about the importance of play in a child’s development during the Bulong Pulungan media forum organized by KidZania Manila at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.
Set to open at the Bonifacio Global City in February 2015, KidZania Manila brought together members of the press and family advocates to get their support as the play city seeks to help children reach their full potential through hyper-real role-play.
“As the global leader in children’s edutainment, KidZania Manila is the ultimate role-play venue for kids, and come 2015, Filipino kids will have access to this innovative play corner,” said Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas, president and CEO of Play Innovations Inc., the local franchise owner of KidZania Manila.
Let kids play to learn
Dr. Gustilo-de Ocampo added that engaging in play reinforces the learning skills of children that they will find beneficial in the long run.
“Kids build skills in essential development areas whenever they use their imagination during play,” said Dr. Gustilo-de Ocampo. She added that the cognitive, social, and academic abilities of the child are developed whenever they engage in pretend play or role-play.
The benefits of role-play in childhood development are widely recognized that educational systems around the world have incorporated role-playing activities in their curriculum.
While pretend play is a child-led activity, parents must still play an active role in determining their child’s approach to unstructured playtime. It is advised that parents participate in their child’s play activity without restricting them with rules and structured activities. It is strongly recommended for parents to pay attention and listen to the things that their child tells them.
It is also the parents’ responsibility to pick the proper avenues where their child could exercise their freedom during play time with purposeful and safe materials to play with. One of which is the globally recognized interactive kid’s city, KidZania.
KidZania Manila is an intricately detailed mini town where kids can let their imaginations run free for a more realistic role-play experience. It imitates the city life because it is believed to help children develop better coping mechanisms with the challenges of the real world. Dr. Gustilo-de Ocampo referred to it as the “dramatic play corner of the 21st century.”
The child-proportioned metropolis was designed to replicate the real world, complete with paved roads, storefronts, vehicles, and real-world brand establishments. It has over 100 role-playing activities where kids can learn about the inner-workings of a city and explore different career options. The KidZania experience will impart valuable life skills among children that they would carry on in their lifetime.