© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.This paper discusses using role-play as a teaching and learning strategy for student early childhood teachers in higher education. What is the secret of dramatic play? Dramatic play supports an individual's capacity for counterfactual thought, which assists the development of their imagination and cognitive function. Isn't this what teacher education needs right now? My experience has shown me that role-play in teacher education as an extension of dramatic play is an effective learning tool to address students' concerns and prepare them for their future professions. For teacher educators, integration of role-playing into classroom teaching is neither simple nor uncomplicated. If we get to know students well enough, I think they will be able to recapture dramatic play and rediscover the delight it brought them as children as part of the learning process in higher education.