This thesis will illustrate how pretend play can be used in the home for educational purposes. The major emphasis of the work will be emergent literacy, however, application principles can be applied in all subject areas. Parents who desire to expand their child's literacy skills while exposing the child to an arts enriched home environment need ideas and tools developed with supportive research to strengthen and focus their efforts. These tools will greatly expand parental resources by offering several principles as a guide for adapting existing classroom materials for home use. The following Seven Components form the core foundation for adapting pretend play materials to aid the home learning environment curricula: (1) Child as Active Participant (Vygotsky; Piaget). (2) Parent as Role Model for Dramatic Play and Literacy, serves as Facilitator, and Co-player (Haight and Miller; Vygotsky). (3) Physical environment could be anywhere: car, office, or bedroom. (4) Resource material: should be able to use common found objects in home, with limited preparations or expense. (5) Play Content needed to provide elements of literacy: cognitive learning, symbol representation, oral language, self-expression, listening and comprehension (Goodman). (6) Promote creative and fun learning experience with a relaxed, informal atmosphere. (7) Play should be process and discovery oriented, and not for performance (Brown and Pleydell; Tuge). This thesis will also examine the preliminary results of a study for parents and children who applied a curriculum developed with the core components and explored the participants' interest level in such activities. Recommendations for further research will also be made.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Theatre and Media Arts



Date Submitted


Document Type





pretend play, emergent literacy, preschool, parents, homeschool, dramatic play, theatre for young audiences, theater, interactive play, make believe, imaginative play, socio-dramatic play, Jean Piaget, L.S. Vygotsky, Vivian Paley, Victoria Brown, Haight and Miller