Symbolic play with students in the classroom

Corner of the house, corner of the hospital, corner of the supermarket or restaurant, corner of the hairdresser or the police station, corner of the school ..., and so on to a large list of spaces in which a zone of the classroom to be able to work on the symbolic game. And what is symbolic play? On our site we explain what it is and how to apply symbolic play with students in the classroom.

Symbolic play for children is really serious business. I remember a class of 5-6 year-old boys and girls who came to me through their class, they accommodated me in the beauty salon that they had installed in the symbolic play corner, and while a child was fixing my nails, another untangled my hair .

By symbolic play we understand the opportunity that the little one has to represent in a symbolic way, the different roles and situations of the world that surrounds him. With this activity they have the possibility to develop many of their skills and to form an image of the world.

In this sense, teachers attach great importance to it, as we can observe the child's ability to imitate real life situations and put yourself in the shoes of other people. It is an activity in which the child continually passes from the real to the imaginary. In this game, in addition, the imagination plays a fundamental role, since it implies "making as if" a power strip were a telephone or a painting was a spoon or a thermometer. There is no doubt that in addition to the socializing function, they have a really good time.

Thanks to these activities, language can be expanded and further developed, empathy is also worked on, and above all mental representations are consolidated. On many occasions, they are spaces in which the boy or girl channel their concerns or fears and also in this same space they can resolve those conflicts.

Symbolic play is generally started at two years of age, although this will depend a lot on the psychological maturity of each child. This activity can begin when the child has developed the ability to create and work mentally with symbols.

It is until the age of 6 that this type of game is a great learning instrument and a key tool within the classroom in schools.

From the age of 6 it is also a fundamental tool; There are children who present a certain shyness or difficulty in their expression, and it is through symbolic play that they have the opportunity to communicate better, since they play a role and they are not cuddling.

In the early childhood education stages, it is appropriate for the classroom to be organized into symbolic play corners. In addition, the distribution of the children is in small groups, and within each corner each one will perform a role or role. And in many cases they can be the ones who design the corners and choose the characters that will be in each one as well as the functions they will perform.

To design the corners, I recommend that you follow these guidelines:

1. Physical limitation. The space and its delimitation must be visually clear; You can use classroom furniture, a curtain, or colored tape on the floor.

2. Flexible use materials. If we limit their function, we limit their imagination and ability to create. The less structured the better.

3. Take care of design and aesthetics. That is, it should look like what it really represents.

4. Describe the roles or functions that will be performed in each corner before starting to play.

With this type of activity, we are offering children spaces in which play helps to improve emotional skills, cognitive stimulation and social skills. In addition to being, through careful observation, a way of evaluating certain indicators of development and maturity of the child. So, dear teacher, get to work and enjoy while you play and also let your inner child out.

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