Importance of Pretend Play for Toddlers

Children's imaginations develop quickly during their first few years of life.  At 2 and 3 years old, a toddler who is encouraged to pretend play will use their budding brains to increase their creative thinking skills, social & emotional skills, and language.

Using different dress-up clothes & props can help them understand the importance of teamwork. For example, putting on different career costumes gives kids opportunities to explore taking turns and communicating with friends. This kind of play will assist growth in social and emotional regulation.  

Using cooking toys can build independence and self confidence. Activities such as pouring pretend pasta into a bowl, stirring it with a utensil, then feeding to a stuffed animal is an example.  As children advance through pretend play, they can use smaller objects to engage in pretend drama like playing with Calico Critter figures or (other small dolls) in houses.