How to make pretend play more fun for your toddler and you

Rock your toddler’s imagination by implementing these ideas to make pretend play more fun.


Playtime is one of the great joys of having kids, but when it comes to pretend play, sometimes it’s hard to still enjoy having your hair brushed and styled for “Pretty, Pretty Princess” 19 times and counting.

ALSO SEE: The importance of creative play and how it benefits your child’s development

Try these fresh ideas at pretend playtime:

Let her lead

A game of “Teacher/Learner” is perfect for little ones, because kids adore being in charge. You can take on the role of learner while she plays the teacher and directs the scene.

Use it to relax

Want to recline on the couch for half an hour? Tell your child that you have a broken leg or sore back and need to lie down. She can pretend to bandage you or nurse you.

Try “what if”

Not every tea party or dress-up session needs to be the same. At the start of the play activity, pose a “what if…” scenario to see how your child reacts and whether she can come up with a quick-thinking solution. For example, “what if an elephant sat down for tea?” “What if it started raining inside?”

Use a book as a guide

Having a tough time keeping the pretend-play banter going? Find inspiration from one of your child’s favourite books. Setting up train tracks? Act out a storyline from Thomas and Friends, for example.

ALSO SEE: The role of imaginative play in your toddler’s development

Make it silly

Remember that it’s OK to go off script. Talk with an accent, walk with a goofy gait, start rhyming, or pretend to be scared and then have your child rescue you.

Explore more

What’s really under the couch or between those big cushions? Pretend you and your little one are on a discovery mission.

Cook up some fun

You don’t need a play kitchen or plastic food to request meals of any scope or size. Ask your child what she’d like to eat (taking mental notes for when you’re stumped for dinner ideas), order what you wish you could be eating, and pretend that you have a personal chef at your service to whip up your every culinary desire.

Bring work home

Designate two workstations on the floor or at a table and put out pencils, highlighters and paper supplies. Let your child scribble and then place her work in a folder or envelope to drop off in your “inbox”.

Written by Jennifer Kelly Geddes on behalf of Fisher-Price.

*When kids are playing, they’re growing, learning, and building a foundation for life. So let’s #PlayMore. Visit the Fisher-Price website and like the Facebook page to keep up to date with the brand’s latest news and products.

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