How to Teach Children to Role Play. Role-playing can be beneficial for children in a variety of ways. Through role-playing, children can learn about difficult or sensitive subjects. This teaching strategy enforces empathy, cooperation and negotiation skills. It helps children identify with others in different situations. The creative play can teach them to see the world through other perspectives and develop good social skills.
Decide what you want to achieve through role-play. Devise scenarios that are likely to result in the appropriate lesson learned. Increase the complexity of the scenario for older age groups.
Introduce role-play by presenting children with a scenario and characters. Pair children off and give them index cards with information about the situation and character profiles. Character profiles may consist of a variety of professions, characteristics or descriptors the children understand. Be sure to provide children with their character's perspective or position on the issue.
Explain the concept of role-play. After distributing the index cards, tell children to pretend to be the characters in their given scenario. Give them a few moments to think about how the character would act and react in the situation.
Have each pair of children come to the front of the room and perform their role-play. Offer suggestions, if they get stuck. When the scene is over, discuss the action with the rest of the children. Ask questions about the content addressed, the lesson being discussed and what they would have done differently as either of the characters.
Have a conversation with the children about the lesson they learned. Tell them that the skills they learn in a role-playing environment can be applied to real-world encounters.