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Role Play provides opportunities for discussing the purposes of particular activities, for reflecting on the specific needs of learners (both adults and children), and for developing new teaching skills. This method of instruction promotes a comfortable, non-threatening learning environment in which there is always room for mistakes.
Additionally, role playing promotes parental empathy for the developmental capabilities of young children. Finally, the role playing method of instruction is easily managed by home visitors and allows for parents with limited reading ability an opportunity to become effective first teachers of their children.
Role playing is used throughout the HIPPY program by all participants. The coordinators and home visitors role play activities every week, taking turns in the roles of parent and child. Home visitors then role play the activities with parents at home or in group meetings. The parent does the activities with his or her child once the home visitor is gone.
Research, and experience in HIPPY, has shown many advantages to the use of role playing as an instructional method.
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