In 1968 Smilansky devised a set of four stages, which she believed reflected the development of children’s play. The four titles of each stage were functional, constructive, dramatic and games with rules. In relation to Smilanksy’s stages Child A appears to be engaging in dramatic play. The given definition of this stage is when “children accept and assign roles, and then act them out” (Cecchini, 2008). This is evident in the play behaviour of Child A, as she is pretending to be a Mother figure, adopting duties such as, cooking, instructing the other person engaged in the play to get ready for dinner, and preparing the next steps of a routine.
Child A’s play alludes to elements of Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory. The pre-operational stage of Piaget’s theory is characterized by the child’s inability to perform logical thought processes, which relates to the idea of egocentrism. Cognitive egocentrism is defined as being “a lack of differentiation of the physical and psychosocial features” of others in comparison to oneself, and...
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...d. Subsequently, this could explain how Child A managed to sustain her pretend play for five minutes at a minimum. Additionally, it has been proposed by Hartup that “mutuality and emotional commitment…may motivate children to sustain cooperative interaction” (1996, cited in Smith, 2009). Likewise to Howes’ perspective, this could explain Child A’s play behaviour. It can be assumed that as parent and child, the pair has an emotional commitment. In addition to this, it is evident from the observation there is cooperative interaction, as the Mum responds to what Child A says and does, and vice versa. Collectively, these two elements may contribute to them both being able to sustain the pretend play. In relation to child development, it has been found that pretend play is beneficial for developing a child’s language, cognitive flexibility, and creativity (Kaufman, 2012).
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