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The benefits of pretend play are numerous.
Apart from grooming a child for the adult-part of their life, you also end up fostering a bond that cannot be broken regardless of the age they grow to.
There are various pretend-play games you can engage in with your child. Here are some great ideas you can play with your child easily.
1. Toy Kitchens
This is one of the more popular pretend play tools. Kids’ kitchens come in a vast range of designs, sizes, materials and colors. If you don’t have the budget to go for one of these factory-produced toy kitchen sets, you can go the DIY way. Home-made play cooking sets can offer the same benefits as the store-bought ones. And they can be built with your normal everyday objects in the home.
2. Doctor Doctor
With a few dolls, your child can become a doctor and treat you and the dolls. You can further this by purchasing a toy doctor-set. You can move visit the doctor’s office for a consultation. As a plot twist, you can make one of the dolls a very ill patient who would require emergency treatment.
3. Construction Site
Get a large carton with a wide length and breadth and a not-so-high height. Fill it with sand and turn it to a construction site. Fit in rocks, legos, and any construction toys you have. Let them build. Or you can just get your toddler one of these awesome-looking toy construction kits.
4. Soldiers and Robbers
We played this game as kids, but you can step it up a little. You’ll need some soldier toys and some other ones to play as thieves. Have the thieves steal the ‘key’ to the World Bank. It will be the duty of the soldiers to get it back.
5. I say, you say
In this game, words are the tools. You and your child [or children] take turns in telling a story. Everyone gets one sentence and then the other person must continue. The aim is to make the story as shocking as possible. Here’s an example-
Parent- Long time ago, in a land of mystery, there was a young boy.
Child- He had big eyes the size of a continent and he slept in Jell-O.
Mum- He lived peacefully until one day, his city was attacked.
Child- They were attacked by humongous flying cows.
Gather several items and monopoly money or homemade paper money. Your child could be the store keeper and you could be the buyer. Be sure to haggle well.
Fill a large tub with water and put in small floating toys. Connect a stick to a rope and connect a cup to the rope’s other side. The aim is to try to catch fish. To make it more fun, make some paper boats and let them float.
8. Rock star
This would work perfectly if you have a microphone or karaoke set. If you don’t, make a microphone out of a plastic bottle and take turns in singing your favorite hits. The audience should cheer and sing along.
9. TV star
Out of a huge cardboard cutting, make a TV. You can check online for ideas on how to do this. The TV should be a frame and your child can go behind it and be an actor, comedian, news reporter, singer, or anything he or she wants to be. You can even decide to change the station to watch a dance routine instead of the movie.
10. Princesses, Princes and Superheroes
Have them choose between being a princess and a prince. Dress them up in a crown, cape, and a special wear and have them rule over some toys.
With a little creativity, you can dress them up as their favorite superhero or at least something close to it. Let them go on elaborate plans to save the world from their arch-rival.