Pretend Play - It's Good for the Kids

New cognitive studies suggest that when children pretend, they're not just playing - they're doing science.

Play is under pressure right now, as parents and policymakers try to make preschools more like schools. People have suspected that play helps children learn, but until recently there was little research that showed this or explained why it might be true.

New studies found that children who are better at pretending are also better at thinking about different possibilities. The idea is that children at play are like pint-sized scientists testing theories.

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