Pretend Play, also known as, the imaginative play, is where children are role playing and are acting out various experiences. Children learn from their surroundings and engage in imaginary play. This is also crucial for children’s creativity and social skills.
Some common terms for Pretend Play are: imaginative play, creative play, make‐believe play, fantasy play. For example, a child might pretend that he is selling food at a shop, being a doctor, pretending to shop,, dress-up, tea-parties, or being superheroes. All of this is just Pretend Play.
When a kid is doing Pretend Play, he/she is essentially thinking, he/she is imagining more of what could be, which hones his/her developmental skills, imaginative skills, and enables him to think more creatively.
Pretend Play is a healthy part of every child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development and should not be feared by parents or educators.
The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas.
- Social and Emotional Skills – Being in someone else’s shoes while doing a Pretend Play enables your child to develop empathy.
- Language Skills – Have you ever heard your child use some words and phrases you never thought he know? Probably, often. Children can do a perfect imitation of their parents and teachers. It helps your child understand the power of language.
- Thinking Skills – Pretend Play enhances your child’s ability to solve problems and use cognitive skills whether he is doing a role play, pretending to cook something, pretending to be a doctor and solving his patient’s problems, etc.
- Nurturing the Imagination – Your child’s fantasy world can be sparked by filling your child’s room with some stuffed animals and dolls, doctor’s equipment, kitchen equipment.