For this project our group has chosen “Fantasy” as our theme. Fantasy refers to a world of imagination filled with creative mental images and uninhibited fancy. These images or visions of fantasy may be distorted faces of reality; or may even be entirely disconnected to the real world. However, fantasy is more often than not linked to the real world in a child’s world and a crucial precursor to future cognitive and creative development.
It is often observed that young children spontaneously engage in fantasy play, especially between the ages 3 to 6, where imagination begins to blossom. During fantasy play or role play, children are observed to replace or represent items that are not available with substitutes. For example, a child who is in need of a hat may use a bowl, or substitute a camera using a wooden block. This ability to employ abstract or representational thinking is important to cognitive processing and allows the child to practice processing ideas. This behaviour also shows the ability for the child to translate between concrete and symbolic ideas or objects, an important skill that is very much required for literacy development for the child to be able to relate words and text to concrete objects or ideas.
After an episode of fantasy play, these substitute items are reversed back to their original functions. The bowl becomes a bowl again and the block is used as a building block for concrete play. This ability to reverse functions is later on important to the child as a precursor in mathematical function.
During fantasy play, children take on roles of imaginary characters and embark on creative stories. This process enables them to practice their processing and creative skills. Language skills are also developed in this process as they organize their thoughts and plot out their stories. This is essential to their comprehension, processing skills and problem solving skills at later stages. Fantasy play in children usually takes place in...
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