Definitions

play role

Children's games (role play)

Children's games that involve role play generally have no rules except to stay in character, and require no specific props. They are normally restricted to young, pre-pubescent children, and aside from their straightforward purpose of fun can sometimes also serve the purpose of allowing children to explore adult roles and relationships. Play can reveal a lot about a child's psychological state, perception of gender roles, home life and interpretation of the world around them.

  • Cowboys & Indians: remains popular around the world, even though the films, television series, and books that might have been thought to give rise to it have largely fallen from prominence. This gives an insight into the child's perception of good and evil.
  • Cops & Robbers: Similar to Cowboys & Indians. Some could see it as the politically correct version.
  • Doctor (Doctor & patient; Doctors & nurses; Mothers & fathers): the main aim is discovering each other's bodies, and it can even involve experiments with sexual play.
  • House: the main aim is to explore familial relationships. Children can act like a family and also explore other family arrangements with each other. It also deals with gender roles.
  • Shopkeeper and customer: This is interpretation of basic social interaction and can be an insight into the child's parent's income status.

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