27 March 2018

Three Reasons Why Pretend Play Will Always Be Relevant

Leave a group of children to their own devices and it won't be long until play inevitably starts to turn to pretending to be someone else, whether it be their mom, the postman or Darth Vader.

At first glance, it's just kids being silly, but pretend play also plays a critical role in children's development, helping in areas such as creativity, empathy and social skills.

Here are three reasons why no matter how much of an impact technology will have on our children's lives, pretend play will also be relevant.


Pretend play puts children in the shoes of somebody else, which really helps them to see things from other points of view, something which can otherwise be difficult at an early age and it's easy to see the benefits that can bring.

For example, if a child is pretending to be a parent, they start to gain an understanding of the role that mum and dad play in looking after them, which is a big reason why interactive doll toys which react to the child when they're hungry or tired like the Silver Cross Susie are so popular.

However, children can pretend to be anything they want, and playing roles such as doctors and nurses or their favorite fictional character can help them to put themselves in situations of power and control that they don't normally get.

Social Skills

Playing made up games with other children means that they have to be more aware of how they're acting towards others, as well as reacting to signals from their playmates.

Pretend play requires children to engage in a lot of communication, negotiation and compromise, but all in a scenario with limited consequences, skills which can then be taken into real life social situations.

In fact, children often spend as much time actually discussing the 'rules' and conditions of their pretend play (who gets to be which character etc.) as they do actually playing!

Language Skills

Putting themselves in all kinds of extraordinary situations also helps your little ones to expand their language skills.

You may be surprised at some of the words that your child picks up on, because after all, how often is it that astronauts and dinosaurs come up in everyday life?

Your children will enter situations that they never normally would in real life, whether it be the hospital, the airport or the bottom of the sea, all of which will require them to learn and use totally new words.

Sometimes it may seem like a toddler doesn't have a clue what you're talking about, but they do take things in and you might be surprised at what they regurgitate further down the line.

For more information on the importance of pretend play, check out this article from Scholastic and think about how you can spark your little one's imagination next time you've got some free time, rather than sticking them in front of a smartphone or tablet.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.

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