Children who are 4 and 5 are ready for more organized social play. They grow away from being interested only in their own ideas to being interested in the actions and feelings of others.
Preschoolers love to dress-up and pretend. They need dress-up clothes – hats, high heels, purses, play money, or anything grown-ups wear. Providing costumes, dress-up clothes, and equipment or furnishings encourages preschoolers toward creative, dramatic play. Big boxes that can become houses or stores are wonderful. These activities give them a chance to act out their feelings, emotions, and how they view the world about them. This practice of grown-up roles leads to the child’s understanding of adults by giving the child a chance to play at being an adult. Preschoolers learn how it feels to be big. They pretend, imagine, create, and imitate what they think it is like to be grown up. They practice relating to their friends. Creative play combines the elements of imagination and fantasy with what is real.
The preschooler learns rapidly through play. Learning the differences in how things feel, look, and sound help children develop intellectual skills. The child’s vocabulary expands through learning about color and size in play activities. As children develop physically through running, jumping, and hopping, they learn action words.
Giving a child an opportunity to get messy also is a learning experience. Playing in mud, sand, and water or painting and colouring gives children a sense of freedom and another chance to strengthen their imagination and creativity. Preschoolers are not lying when they tell wonderful and exciting tales about things that adults know are not true. They are being creative.