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Why is pretend play so important in children?

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Pretend play is tea parties, dressing up etc is linked to many developmental areas such as language, problem solving and abstract thought. It's a key issue in social interaction between children.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013

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Any ideas for some creative play / pretend play games with the kids?


Take a look at the Simple Kids website. I really like her ideas that come with photos for role play type games with the kids, without having to spend a lot.

http://simplekids.net/creative-pretend-play-props-and-ideas/

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

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Is it important to give kids time to play without helping them choose what to do next?


Yes - I'm a big believer that it's only when kids feel bored or unsure what to do next that they can dig deeper into their imaginations and make up some great games and do activities that they would never choose to do if you gave them the suggestions.

Sometimes we over schedule activities for our kids and don't allow them down-time to come up with some good ideas.

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

1 Answer

I heard about a pretend toy store game to play with children. Does anyone know how it works? I am not so good at making games up.


This game is a great one to play with kids on a wet afternoon stuck indoors. Basically use their toys to turn an area of the house into a toy store. Get the kids involved in choosing the games they would like to 'sell'. Write prices lists and stick them somewhere that the kids can see and reach ie Lego sets - $4, Dolls - $2

If you don't have any pretend money, you can make your own with the kids, then divide up the tasks and let them enjoy many hours of pretend shopping.

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

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Where can I buy a pretend cash register? My kids are crazy about the supermarket and I think they would love to play pretend shopping games.


You are right - it's a great pretend play tool. You can buy a cash register and then some plastic pretend foods and set up a mini shop or restaurant at home. Not only is it great for their imagination but also good for learning to count money etc.

Amazon stock the one we bought for around $26, take a look;

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Pretend-Calculator-Register/dp/B00000DMD2/ref=lp_166309011_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1352367870&sr=1-8

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

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Can you suggest any good pretend play props that we might have around the house? I want to encourage my daughter to pretend play more without having to spend on new toys.


You are totally right. Pretend play doesn't need a big spending spree to make it fun. Kids just love using household items for their games. It makes them feel big and grown up. Here are some examples;

Boxes ie cardboard

Dressing up clothes - old shoes, hats and scarves

Blankets and bottles

Kitchen equipment

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

1 Answer

My kids love doing pretend play but they always seem to end up fighting. Should I encourage them to do something else?


No! in a way it's a great thing that they are fighting as it's giving them the chance to learn to problem solve and compromise. Pretend play is like a snap shot of reality and your kids can learn some very effective skills that will help them in school and with friendships.

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

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The teacher at my sons kindergarten said that pretend play teaches empathy. Can that be true?


Yes, it's actually true. Through pretend play, a toddler is able to 'be someone else' for a while, whether it's just dressing up or pretending without props, but they can actually attempt to feel what it's like to be someone else - a princess, a teacher etc.

It also helps with the message of self-esteem as it shows them not to be limited and that they can be whatever they want to be.

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

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What values do kids learn from pretend play?


Take a look at this good article from the Better Kid Care site.

http://www.betterkidcare.psu.edu/TIPS/TIPS46.pdf

it even gives some good tips for using basic household items to help promote pretend play.

Feb 18, 2013 | Toys

1 Answer

What is pretend play?


Pretend play is a way of incorporating imaginative play ie with dolls, cars etc with symbolic play ie playing with inanimate objects.

Jan 10, 2013 | Toys

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