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Creative dramatics; Fantasy play; Pretend play; Pretension play; Socio-dramatic play; Symbolic play


Dramatic play permits children to fit the reality of the world into their own interests and knowledge. Dramatic play gives the child the opportunity to release his/her emotions while feeling less threatened and exposed owing to the distance that dramatic play creates from his/her problems [1, 3].


Dramatic play includes role-playing, puppetry, and fantasy play. It does not require interaction with another. By acting out experience, he/she comes into contact with reality. It is constructive for the child to remember situations through play and to have the opportunity to repeat them and work through them. Socio-dramatic play is dramatic play with the additional component of social interaction with either a peer or teacher [1]. Creative dramatics involves spontaneous, creative play. Children frequently reenact a scene or a story.

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  1. Center for best practices, University of Western Illinois. (2002). Dramatic play. Retrieved December 18, 2008, from

  2. Dramatic Play. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2008, from

  3. Ghaci, G., & Richardson, J. T. E. (1980). The effects of dramatic play upon cognitive structure and development. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 136(1), 77–84.

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  4. Van der Merwe, M. (2005). Dramatic play. Retrieved December 18, 2008, from

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Correspondence to Rebekah R. Pender .

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Pender, R.R. (2011). Dramatic Play. In: Goldstein, S., Naglieri, J.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development. Springer, Boston, MA.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-0-387-77579-1

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