“In role-play, children act as if they are someone else, imagining and weighing possibilities. This helps them analyze situations from different perspectives. Pretending to be someone else, with all the gestures, actions, and language that involves, gives children practice thinking divergently as they consider different things they can pretend to do.”
How to parse the thinking in the underlined part will be correct in following two ways?;
1) ‘gives children practice of thinking divergently’; when we revive the omitted ‘of’, ‘thinking’ is a gerund functioning as an object of the preposition ‘of’.
2) ‘gives children practice for them to think divergently’; in this view, ‘thinking’ is a participle functioning modifying preceding noun – ‘practice’.
While I’m inclined to 1) above, your opinions would be really appreciated.