It's one of the best parts of being a kid: knowing that, with little more than some haphazardly pieced together dress-up garb and your imagination, you can be whoever and whatever you want to be.
No limits. No disappointments. Just dreams and aspirations and imagination.
But behind this most treasured of childhood rituals is a science and a psychology which makes it even better.
"It releases the imagination," says Dr Louise Phillips, University of Queensland Early Years and Arts lecturer.
"It is such an important capability to have… to be able to perform and tell a story; or to play out the sketch of a story or setting."
Dr Phillips says the explosion of mobile and hand-held device use among children in the early years age group further heightened the need to facilitate the development of imagination and play in children.
"Technology and these devices are there constantly now. There is 24-hour access and unlike when we were growing up, and didn't have the agency to move a TV and even had to get up to change the channels, it is with us everywhere we go.
"We need to nurture imagination and role-playing in our children more than ever. And parents need to encourage this in every part of life; in everything they do."
Play, reading, conversation – the simplest things – can be daunting to time poor parents. But the key, Dr Phillips says, is keeping it simple.
"Even the shopping list can be a role-play activity.
"Children will pretend and make believe. They will copy what their parents do and even the most mundane of those things can be fun and exciting for children because it's what they see as being part of being a grown up.
"Children will play at cooking dinner, going to the doctors and other real-life activities.
"Through role-play they will see what it feels like to do these activities. They are learning and broadening their overall understanding."
Professor of Education in the Learning Sciences Institute of Australia, Australian Catholic University, Professor Susan Edwards agrees.
Professor Edwards says this kind of role-playing and play-based learning is foundational, creating a sturdy base for every facet of a child's development.
"This is the way a child meets the world," she says.
"It is the way they go on to experience and make sense of their environment and the world around them.
"Through open-ended play and role-playing children are using their imagination to draw on the resources of the world, to respond to what's happening around them and make their own representation about where they fit and how they see something playing out."
So what are the most important benefits of role-play?
"This is such an important part of growth, learning and development," Professor Edwards says.
"The best way to approach early learning is through open-ended play, in other words, just let the children role-play, explore and have no set outcomes. Let them direct the play and the outcome."