• Children learn by watching others, and they develop and define themselves by imitation. Children begin this process, called dramatic play, on their own at a very young age.


    Dramatic play is an early stage of play in which children assign and take on roles.


    Typically, children begin to engage in dramatic play around age 2, as they become aware of the people around them and their assigned roles in life.

    Time Frame

    By the time a child is 5 years old, his desire to pretend he is another person or an animal begins to diminish. While she may no longer take on roles, she will assign them to others.


    At home, a young child might pretend to be the family pet, a parent, sibling or a television personality (real or animated). At school, he may take on the role of a peer, a teacher or a classroom helper.


    Children often assume roles to discuss or act out troubling situations in their lives. Engaging in violent or suggestive behavior could be indicative of deeper issues and should be addressed.


    Higher Learning: Training Module, Dramatic Play

    Western Illinois University: Dramatic Play

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