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NAN: Role Playing in the School Years

When school aged children role-play they increase their understanding of other’s perspectives. Role-playing with real materials, such as cameras, gardening supplies and cooking equipment, enables school-aged children to learn through play. 

Children also engage in role-playing by acting out dramatic stories. When children act in different roles they get the opportunity to play different characters and experiment with different character attributes. Nannies can encourage role-playing by inviting children to write their own plays and by volunteering to play the role in which they are cast. By providing access to costumes, masks, cardboard, scraps of wood and paint, for example, nannies can work with children to create a stage or set that is fit for holding a dramatic performance.

School aged children may also enjoy putting on puppet shows, which allows them to develop their dramatic skills. Nannies can provide children access to simple supplies to make their own puppets, like socks, felt, paper plates or paper bags and markers. Nannies and their charges may also choose to make more elaborate puppets as a project they can do together. 

Nannies can also engage children in role-plays when they are nervous about an upcoming experience or need guidance on handling different social situations. For example, if a child is nervous about going to the dentist, the nanny can engage in a role-play with the child where they take turns playing the role of dentist and patient as they work through the different feelings and scenarios that the child may face. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Role Playing in the School Years