The most critical aspect of play as it relates to language development is that children learn to think symbolically. They learn that one thing, like a block, can represent another thing, like a phone. This is the same kind of thinking that allows them to understand that a picture or the written word represents the real thing. When children engage in pretend play, as seen in Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales, they are thinking symbolically.
–Tip by Erin Emerick, Youth Programming Coordinator