Where to begin
Role-playing is what makes any skill stick. Role-playing allows you and your child to practice scenarious over and over again until they have mastered the skill and how they would respond. Role-playing allows a parent to teach their child how they should act and what is expected of them. Children that Role-play or practice frequently are more able to better handle situations, including ones they have never encountered before, and deal with those situations in the best way.
Here is what to do when Role-playing
1. Watch the Role-playing video and become familiar with the elements of Role-playing.
2. Print out the Steps of Role-playing and place it somewhere for easy reference.
3. Visit the Fun Activities section section and choose a game or activity that you think will be successful with your children as you implement the skill.
4. During a neutral time, introduce your children to Role-playing and discuss how and why you’re going to use Role-playing and ask for their help.
6. Many children, especially teens, don’t feel comfortable Role-playing, so keep it fun and offer them Effective Praise for any effort.
7. Offer a small reward once a child has finished Role-playing. Often offering a small reward for Role-playing will encourage children to practice in the future as they feel they are getting something out of it. A reward does not need to be offered every time a child Role-plays, but rewards are especially helpful in the beginning.
Suggestions for parents
Remain calm and know your limits. If you or your child is getting frustrated, it’s ok to take a break and come back when you have both calmed down. Role-playing when upset or angry will just make both you and your child hate Role-playing.
Your child will be almost as silly as you are. The more silly you make Role-playing the more it will put your child at ease and the more they will like Role-playing.
As you use Role-playings dialogues and they become a part of everyday life, you’ll notice your children will begin Role-playing situations without your prompting.
Start by Role-playing easy things before moving onto harder things. We have a list of easy, medium and difficult topics to help Role-playing. Download the Role-playing scenario for kids here and Role-playing scenario for teens here.
Role-playing at a neutral time is a great way to deal with conflict resolution.
Remember to download the Steps of Role-Playing and hang it somewhere visible for easy reference.
Charades is a great game to introduce children to Role-playing as it allows them to practice being silly and doing things they aren’t in their comfort zone.
Charades involves acting out words or phrases without using any verbal clues in a given amount of time—usually 30 seconds or a minute depending on the age of the participants and how you plan to award points.
How to accrue points can be done in one of two ways.
Option 1: A point is given for any right answer that is guessed during the set time frame.
Option 2: Each player only gets 1 card per turn.
1. Download: CHARADE FILE
2. Print out and cut to guide lines.
3. Divide the questions in half and place in two bowls—one for each team.
4. Each team takes turn having one player act out the clues while the rest of the team tries to guess.
5. The player who is acting out is not able to speak, though rules to whether they can make other sounds vary so be sure to set the rules before you starts.
6. Game ends when all the cards have been used.
This point of Role-playing is to get children to be comfortable doing things that are asked of them. In Reverse Charades, children have to act out the command from their cards, trying to get as many cards as possible in a set amount of time frame. This game differs from Charades in the fact that they are able to use sounds, movement, etc.
1. Download: Reverse Charades File
2. Print out and cut to guide lines.
3. Place all the questions in a stack face down.
4. Set a timer for 45 seconds. The players whose turn it is, tries to act out as many cards as possible before the time runs out.
5. Game ends when all the cards are gone.
6. The player with the most cards wins.
Research articles about Role-Playing
Research has shown that Role-playing is vital in helping prepare children for the future and situations they may encounter. Studies have shown that practice (Role-playing) is the best way to learn a new skill or behavior.
Read more about the study that was in our Role-playing lesson video. This study looked at the long-term effect of learning and practice in ballet dancers and found that the age-old practice that practice makes perfect was true.
This article explains why Role-playing is so important in an educational setting and what teachers can do to increase children’s success through Role-play.
Starting Point from the Carleton College explains how Role-playing allows a child to see the importance of any information they learn as it gives it context.
The Play House out of England explores the additional benefits of Role-play including learning empathy, social development, and growth in language and thought.
FamilyLives explains that children learn best through play and that the benefits of play have lasting consequences.
Smarter Parenting blog posts
HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR THIS LESSON
Role-playing: Reverse charades activity
Use this fun Role-playing Reverse Charades to help children practice Role-playing scenarios.
Role-playing: Scenarios for kids
Use these Role-playing scenarios to help your kids practice Role-play. Easy, medium, and difficult scenarios.
Role-playing: Scenarios for teens
Use these Role-playing scenarios to help your teen practice Role-play. Easy, medium, and difficult scenarios.
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