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Spending time with your little kids can be fun and fulfilling when you know you put a smile on their faces. The best thing about bonding with them is the playing part – which as kids, even we enjoyed very much. One of the most substantial playtime activities is pretend play – and it’s not a surprise why.
It helps your kids learn a lot – especially for toddlers that are just starting to develop and practice the skills they are curious about every day.
Plenty of beneficial skills come out of pretend plays with toddlers – some parents don’t think so, but it would be a great way of improving their character, their mentality and even social and communication skills.
Before we continue to get the ideas, let’s see the benefits of pretend play with kids.
Why Pretend Play Is Essential to Toddler Development
- Improved Communication Skills
The more your child is involved in an interaction and conversive, the more they learn, adjust and practice what they pick up. In pretend play, their minds are stimulated to respond – through thinking, reacting and responding to the stimuli, they speak and improve their communication with the person they are playing with.
It’s not an easy characteristic to achieve, but children start to learn to participate and cooperate in pretend play situations by learning how to socialize with the person they are interacting with. One of the best ways to incorporate camaraderie in the pretend play is to encourage them to help and assist you in what you are doing, show them how certain things are done so they learn what to do in certain situations.
- Speech and Motor Skills Improvement
During pretend play, a child’s speech and motor skills are also put to the test – all the while improving it. The more the tongue and mouth are used in communicating and the muscles are moving in coordination with physical activities, the improvements are happening for your child. These simple tasks when pretend play is enough to help your child improve and develop other skills as well.
- Social Skills
Social skills are one of the most basic skills that children have to learn – no man is an island. Social skills are improved when people interact with one another – giving an individual the chance to adjust, adapt and act accordingly. This is why social skills are also essential to a child’s growth and development, they need this skill to continue developing other aspects of their character.
- Emotional, Mental and Social Development
Simple things such as thinking before reacting, acting accordingly and with respect and manners, knowing how to control one’s emotions – these are just some of the few skills people start to grow as time goes on. These are one of the basic developments toddlers learn as they grow up, which is why certain pretend play games are nice to do at home.
- Physical Development
Some pretend play games involve developing the physical form of toddlers, like improving how they can handle lifting, moving or assembling things. Some pretend play games also involve moving around; running, walking, jumping, even dancing!
6 Pretend Play Ideas For Toddlers In Singapore
Pretend Play Detective or Scavenger Hunt
You can start by hiding a precious object of the kids, or putting a precious treat for them somewhere hidden. It would be good to keep the clues not too difficult and easy to understand – enough to stimulate their thinking and analyzing skills. Keep it at one word and help them throughout the hunt!
Remember not to hide the treasure or the clues where they can’t reach them or get to them. It’s always better to keep any accident possibilities at zero!
Customer Service Call Representative
Practice their communication skills by playing a customer care representative and customer or caller pretend play! The mechanics are easy. Provoke their communication skills by asking questions after “ringing” their end of the call. Start with simple questions where they are most interested in.
While their communication skills are being honed, the kids will also learn to cater to customer service and help others while participating in this pretend play with parents.
Cooking Pretend Play
This pretend play is fun and interactive for children, especially the kids who love food and show interest in cooking. During the gameplay, parents can help the kids learn how to handle certain cooking situations like cooking simple dishes, what to do in the kitchen – every skills they should be aware of in the kitchen. This is a great way of enhancing the child’s camaraderie, communication skills and speech and motor skills.
Mini-Market Merchant Pretend Play
Nothing beats a nice pretend play that teaches your child how to start counting, thinking and arranging like pretending to be a merchant. Start by teaching your child how it works – like trading. Teach them that when you have a store or a market stall, you get to exchange products, in modern days, money for the product.
When they sell you an apple, you give them something else in return. Once you get to play money, they will get the hang of learning how to count, how certain transactions work, and how things work in the real world.
Pretend Doctor or Nurse
Some toddlers show early signs of wanting to care and look after people. This could be one of the signs of what to teach your child. They can pretend to be a doctor or a nurse, then you can show them what these professions usually do. Checking the heartbeat, treating wounds, and even flexing some muscles to know if they are okay.
Home Designer Role Play
This is a good game, especially if they like playing house or building up mini houses. Start by guiding them where certain things go when you playhouse, and then stimulate their minds and initiatives to know where they like to build things when playing house.
During these trying times, these pretend play ideas would help keep your kids entertained at home. Not only will their time be well-spent with you, but their overall well-being development will also be encouraged to improve through these fun activities.
What are you and your child’s favorite pretend play when you’re at home? Share your ideas with us!