Why is Pretend Play Important for Your Child

Pretend play is a vital stepping stone in your child’s development. Pretend play is how your child learns about our adult world. It usually develops around 2 years of age and helps to build the following skills: 

  • Imagination/creativity: children can be anyone and do anything in their pretend world. 
  • Social skills: turn taking, negotiation, compromising and sharing with others.  
  • Communication/language skills: Listening and talking with other people and developing an understanding of what is being communicated through our non verbal skills such as looking, smiling, nodding and waving.  
  • Emotional development: Understanding and expressing feelings through the play.  

What games can help improve pretend play skills? 

  • Tea sets– taking turns, sharing cakes and cups 
  • Doll houses– role play your daily routines such as bathing, dinner.  
  • Shopping trolley and cash registers– practice shopping and taking turns at being shopkeeper 
  • Dress ups– princess, dragons, robots, dinosaurs, policeman and nurses 
  • Use the phone and call for a pizza or a doctor 
  • Cubby houses– play house together