Imaginary play companions: Characteristics and functions

  • V. Kalyan-Masih


This paper investigates some variables associated with the phenomenon of young children playing with imaginary play companions (IPC). The intelligence of a group of children with IPCs; the characteristics of the IPC itself; parental socio-economic and educational background, family size and birth order are compared with a group of children without IPCs.

Examples are given and the author concludes that all preschool children engage in make-believe or symbolic play of one kind or another. With increasing cognitive competency, language development and socialization, the child finds other means of dealing and coping with reality and the imaginary play companion is no longer needed. It is suggested that the phenomenon of IPCs should be encouraged rather than ignored or discouraged if symbolic play is essential for cognitive, social and emotional development of preschool children.


Preschool Child Cognitive Style Pretend Play Cognitive Competency Symbolic Play 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Kalyan-Masih
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Nebraska at LincolnLincoln

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