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For children not quite old enough to play Among Us on a device, the Among Us Figurines are a great alternative! Pretend play is an important part of young children’s development and with the appropriate toys in hand, parents can know that their children are learning through play.
How does pretend play help a child learn?
- Children learn about themselves and the world. Dramatic pretend play is one of the first ways children learn about their likes and dislikes, their interests, and their abilities. They experiment with role playing and work to make sense out of what they’ve observed. Just watch children playing with dolls to see examples of this. Dolls often become versions of the child himself and are a safe way for children to express new ideas and feelings. Among Us Figurines can fulfill that role… Purple Crewmate and Brown Crewmate have just had an argument and have decided that it’s better to be friends!
- Children work out confusing, scary, or new life issues. Have you ever seen children pretending to visit the doctor? One child holds the play stethoscope as the others line up for a check-up. More often than not someone gets ‘shots’. This is a child’s way of exploring an experience that is common and sometimes confusing or scary. Through these role plays, children become more comfortable and prepared for life events in a safe way. Perhaps Green Crewmate has a new baby brother or sister on the way!
- Children develop important complex social and higher order thinking skills. Pretend play is much more than simple play activities; it requires advanced thinking strategies, communication, and social skills. Through this play, children learn to do things like negotiate, consider others’ perspectives, use knowledge from one situation to apply another, balance their own ideas with others, develop a plan and act on it, and to express and listen to thoughts and ideas. Perhaps through pretend play Orange Crewmate is being taught how to set the table!
- Children synthesize knowledge and skills. Because learning and child development doesn’t happen at specific times or during isolated activities, children need opportunities to blend their skills and knowledge together. Pretend play is a great way to do this. Think of children playing ‘grocery’ store. They may sort by attributes as they group similar foods in sections of the store, or work to create signs and price tags, or assign jobs without the store. Blue Crewmate just reorganized the refrigerator!
How can you encourage your child to pretend play?
- Use stories: Ask your children to recreate a favorite story or take it further and add their own twist. During your pretending game, prompt their ideas by asking questions like: “What do you think happened next?” and “What if the Crewmate gets lost?”
- Provide dolls and puppets: Make sure your child has regular access to dolls, stuffed animals, or puppets. Among Us Figurines (or our Plushies) in a variety of colors are great for these hands-on needs! Through imaginative play, children easily ascribe feelings and ideas to these toys and often use them to express, explore and work out their own ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
- Create “prop boxes”: Prop boxes are something most high-quality early childhood programs have plenty of. They are boxes (or bins, crates, or bags) with themed dramatic play materials in them. It’s like having a creative experience in a box. Examples of popular prop boxes are a flower shop, office, restaurant, post office, and shoe store. Have a few materials in prop boxes and let your children’s creativity take it from there. The Among Us theme “prop box” can include homemade hats, pets, shoeboxes for rooms, and more!
- Make time: No material, environment, or story can take the place of uninterrupted time to play and explore ideas. Pretend play doesn’t fit nicely into twenty minute segments. Be ok with leaving a spaceship in the living room for a few days to allow your children to fully explore and enhance their creative explorations.
- Go on adventures: Allow your child to take their favorite pretend play items with them. Whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or library, children have a way of including their special friends.
So while your younger child’s Among Us Figurines won’t be taking part in the fun of sabotage and emergency meetings and deception, they will be taking Red Crewmate or Purple Crewmate on great adventures through pretend play!
** See below photos of our Among Us Toys & Gifts recent pretend play adventure at a local aquarium… those sharks are scary!