Pretend Play and Creativity  

Mottweiler and Taylor (2014) investigated the relation between elaborated role play, a form of pretend play which children imagine and act out the part of another individual and preschool age children’s creativity. The participants 75 4 to 5 years old children who had European American background and came from middle class. To assess the children’s engagement in elaborated role play, first, children were asked questions such as whether they had an imaginary friend, and if they often pretended to be someone they were not while in a separate room their parents were asked to completed a questionnaire about their children’s involvement in pretend play.

Then, children were classified based on their role play interviews, parental questionnaire and the follow up interviews which compared the children’s answers with their parents to identify any discrepancies with what the child had reported asked the parent follow-up questions, as necessary. Children were also asked to pretend to hold the imaginary object and perform 9 pretend actions with an imagined object to assess their current level of pretend play such as pretending to hold a pencil, knife, pretending that they were brushing their teeth with a toothbrush or putting on a pair of sunglasses.

To measure the children’s narrative and drawing creativity, the children were asked to provide endings to stories and to make drawings of a person and pretend person. Finally, to measure the children vocabulary and syntax, the children were shown a picture book, asked to look at each page and explain what was happening in the book.

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This study demonstrated a connection between engaging in elaborated role play and creativity. The findings suggested that elaborated role play was related to measures of narrative creativity and drawing creativity. The study indicated that children who engaged in more elaborate role play, particularly involving imaginary friends and pretend identities, scored significantly higher for creativity in their narratives and for creativity in their drawings.

In addition, the study found that while elaborated role play was related to measures of narrative creativity and drawing creativity, the children’s pretend play ability on the pantomime task which was based a general pretend play, a non- role play was not related to those creativity measures.

Although the study suggest that pretend play and creativity are related, it does not provide any evidence that pretence causes increases in children’s creativity.

The limitation of the study is a significant amount of missing data. The missing data might especially have effect on the conclusions that were drawn from the data related to the drawing creativity since 25 % of the data were missing due to children declining to participate or not completing the second drawing task.

To address criticism of experimenter bias in this area, the researchers conducted a separate analysis using scores from the judges who had not collected the original data and did not know the children. Thus, conducting a separate analysis indicates the strength of the study in terms of experimenter bias.

It is also noteworthy that to address another the criticism in the field, using inappropriate measure of creativity for preschool age children, Mottweiler and Taylor developed two new measures of creativity for preschool age children. The researchers used two different types of products that are very familiar to preschool children: They asked children to create stories and drawings.

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Pretend Play and Creativity  . (2022, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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