Friday, June 20, 2014

Toddler pretend play 1 - Let's go travelling!

Toddlers are sponges - learning and growing from each exposure. How did my 19month old knew what to do or what to say when we played this imagine play of let's go travelling? It was all by exposure. He was quick. I put on his backpack and sticked his teddy on his backpack. He lugged his suitcase. I waved him goodbye, he said 'Bye', and walked towards the door. I reminded him, don't forget to wear your shoes, Josh Josh. He then stopped and went for his shoes at the shoe-rack.
Pretend play is not just about imagination, but it's something that boosts learning and development. Pretend play teaches (resources from
  • Empathy (he puts himself in someone's shoes, this time, he's someone who's going to board the plane)
  • Language skills (he engages in a two way communication with me, saying Bye in return)
  • Problem solving (the little brain is constantly thinking and imagining the scenes in her head. What does he need to do to get down the stairs when lugging a suitcase? or to open the door? Note to parent: Try not to get too involved. Let his imagination run, and you're just the supporting role in the scene)
  • Courage (pretend play is a safe way for little kids to work out their feelings in a safe environment)
Pretend play is also called symbolic play, it helps develop the ability to think symbolically, and that is essential to learning math and language.

He enjoyed it very much. He stepped out of the house and rode on his 'suitcase' and was having some fun time 'out' there while I prepped myself for his next game.

This time, I made sure I kissed him farewell.
MOM: Josh.. are you.. J: Mom, I'm busy! >.<
Suggestions for other pretend play themes:
  • Let's go picnic (bring out the rug, water bottle, the teddy, and some picnic snacks)
  • Dinner in a restaurant
  • Beach
  • A visit to the doc
Any others that you can think of for a toddler aged 18-36month old?


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