In many play-based Early Childhood classrooms, the Dramatic Play area is offered for young children to explore play themes and encourage interaction with peers. Children can use actual props and materials to make a lovely breakfast, or carry out extended play scenario. Very young 2's will pour pretend coffee into real cups, when older 4's and 5 will use a broom stick to put out a pretend fire. It becomes a bit of a touchy subject when dramatic play clothing enters the mix. Just as the coffee, cups and pretend food are props for play, dramatic play clothes are props for children to become someone new! Teachers offer various costumes, including but are not limited to: Fire Fighters, Chefs. Princesses, Construction Workers, Doctors, Mail Carriers, Pets, Dragons and more! When GIRLS put on dramatic play clothes or a costume typically assigned to boys (superman, race car driver), this is not a problem. When BOYS put on dramatic play clothing that are typically assigned to female roles, there are many who will object and fail to see the value in this play:
-What those who object see is a boy in a "girls" dress
-What those who object DON'T SEE is a boy possibly pretending to be a mommy, or a teacher or a female role model in his life.
-What those who object DON'T SEE is a boy demonstrating a real Cognitive Skill
-What those who object DON'T SEE is a boy carrying out a gender role in a play scenario
-What those who object DON'T SEE is a boy learning to be caring, kind, nurturing and loving in that gender role.
Allowing boys to play and model roles of girls or women is perfectly wonderful. Allowing girls to play and model roles of men or women is perfectly amazing. What those who object DON'T SEE is a young child PRETENDING. When they step out of the costume or clothing, they will be themselves again.
I've read this LITERALLY 100 times! We know...we feel your pain. Your toddler or preschooler brings you that book you have read maybe 50 times already this week....But wait! There is GOOD to that! The Repetitive reading you do with that one book offers a number of benefits for young readers: You are building Vocabulary and increasing a young child's word bank with simple word recognition. For example: David Shannon's "No David" gives a child multiple opportunities to see and learn those two simple words throughout the story. You are also practicing Fluency (reading with stumbling or stopping). When a child can read text “accurately, quickly, and with expression.” they feel good about themselves...this will also be helpful when its time for kindergarten. Repetitive reading also builds Comprehension. Children learn and understand more about the story itself. They begin to understand that words have a purpose and stories have meaning! Put these all together and you will have a more confident lover of books! Now read it......AGAIN!