The terms sociodramatic play and role play are used, interchangeably with other terms, to describe one of the key forms of play observed in young children, one that has increasingly been viewed as a significant contributor to their development. Its characteristics are suggested by the broader term pretend play. While numerous definitions and theories of pretend play have been offered over time, all describe a child, or children, pretending to be other people (e.g., children, adults, animals, or monsters) and making use of everyday objects as substitutes for other objects (a block for a car, a doll for a baby, a broomstick for a horse). Research has shown that these behaviors contribute to the holistic development of young children across many domains—social and emotional, as ...

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