Pretend Play is one of the most important aspects of childhood learning. It should be encouraged by schools, parents, and other caregivers. Watching my children make up stuff when playing and interacting is very fulfilling. I am always surprised at the knowledge and even use of related vocabulary associated with their play.
My fondest memory of my childhood was pretending to be a teacher.
I did not have as much toys growing up but learnt to improvise.
I would line up every thing I could get my hands on at home — teddy bears and dolls, and I would even put some cloth over some pillows or anything foamy and draw faces on those. I would sit them in rows facing me and pretend I had a full class. Luckily I had access to plenty of chalk and would write all over walls, closet doors, you name it. It was fun and exhilarating for me to teach, praise, correct, and even punish my pretend pupils…Yeah, that was my childhood.
Today, parents and schools can choose from a wide variety of pretend play items with different price points. Some items are more DIY-focused and other toys are ready to use. There are costumes, kitchens, easels, chalkboards, puppet theaters, dollhouses, race cars, and much more.
When considering toys for children, don’t just buy anything; take the time to really think about the value it will add to their learning. Find toys that will nurture their imagination, encourage thinking, improve language, and cultivate their social and emotional skills.