Fantasy has ancient roots, but it gets a bad rap. Some worry that fantasy fiction may confuse young children. Others dismiss fantasy as silly or frivolous. Should children steer clear of fantasy play and fantasy entertainment? Is reading fantasy fiction a waste of time? Studies suggest the answer is no.Young children are quite
savvy about fantasy elements in fiction. They are quick to identify
them as impossible. And research indicates that fantasy
fiction and fantasy play can benefit kids.Engaging with fantasy can stimulate creativity and boost
vocabulary. It may help children develop better
self-regulation skills. It might even enhance their working memory performance.So let’s take a look at the evidence — the way young children respond to fantastic stories and imaginative play.

Not so easily confused: Preschoolers understand that fantasy scenarios can’t happen in real life.
We often hear that young children can’t…

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