Lets Pretend

Children explore the world around them and learn through pretend play. With so many passive activities like watching TV and playing video games, we sometimes need to encourage our children to pretend play. Here are a few suggestions on how to get those creative juices flowing for both you and your child.

Dress Up Box

Put a dress up box together with some of your old dresses, jackets, blouses, old Halloween costumes, etc. Don't forget to throw in some fun accessories as well, such as purses, hats, wigs, scarves, gloves. etc. If you can't find much around the house, look around at some yard sales and the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. You'll be able to find some great dress up clothes for your kids for next to nothing.

You may also get requests for some unusual accessories like space helmets, crowns, etc. Be creative and look around the house. A colander makes a cool helmet and you can form a sparkling crown out of aluminum foil.

Veterinarian

All you'll need is any of the stuffed animals your kids already have plus some bandages. You can substitute an empty pen to serve as a thermometer or syringe. A pair of headphones can quickly be turned into a stethoscope by taping a plastic bottle cap to the jack.

Grocery Store

You can quickly put a grocery store together on a low shelf or side table. All you'll need is a basket and several empty cereal and rice boxes. Add a few canned goods and some dry beans, and you're all set. You can also draw up your own money on pieces of paper and cut some coins out of cardboard. Ask your child to help you color them. Take turns with your child being the shopper or the storekeeper.

Library

When your child gets bored of playing store, turn the grocery store into a library. Make up a library card for every family member and add a small piece of paper into each of your child's books. If your child cannot read or write yet, draw a symbol for each family member, or use a different color. When someone checks out a book from the family library, ask the child to record who took it and when it is due back in. You can also ask your child to sort the books either by topic or alphabetically.

Firefighter

Have your kids turn an empty cardboard box into a fire truck. They can color it and draw tires on with markers or cut out shapes from construction paper. Paint an empty clean can (like a coffee can) blue to use as an emergency light. You can have them make a police car, ambulance or garbage truck. You'll soon have your children pretend play to be a fire fighter, police officer, etc.

Let's Cook

All you'll need are a few pots and pans, some wooden spoons, and if you'd like, some dry rice or beans. Your kids can also draw shapes of favorite foods on construction paper and color them with crayons or markers. After that, let the pretending begin. Encourage your child to pretend cook in the kitchen with you while you are fixing dinner. It will keep him or her occupied, while you can still keep an eye on him or her.

Puppets

One of the most versatile pretend play toys are puppets. You can easily make them yourself. Take a look at these finger puppets (http://www.kinderinfo.com/crafts/fingerpuppets.htm) and handkerchief puppets (http://www.kinderinfo.com/crafts/handkerchief-puppet.htm). There is also a huge array of puppets from people to animals commercially available. Puppets will allow your child to recreate situations of everyday life and to explore different points of view. Watching them when they play with their puppets will give also give you a glimpse at how they see the world. Do you really say, "Please don't do that" that often?

Give your child the means and a little bit of encouragement to pretend play and they'll run with it. Our children are so observatory of their surroundings and also have tons of imagination. You'll enjoy watching them and interacting with them as they explore their world through pretend play.

Did you find this information useful and helpful? Be sure to sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter so you can receive our child care tips and family fun ideas right in your inbox! Sign up today at http://www.kinderinfo.com/newsletter and receive a FREE copy of our latest e-book, Summer Fun!

In The News:

Rich pickings: parenting tasks I’d pay never do again  The GuardianThe dirty bits of parenting we'd use Jacob Rees-Mogg levels of wealth to protect ourselves from.
Kate Middleton's Honest Parenting Confession Is Refreshing To Hear From A Royal  RomperKate Middleton is presumably a dab hand at parenting by now. After all, she has three children which is basically like being a pro-level parent in my opinion.
8 quotes on parenting by comedians that will make you laugh out loud  The Indian ExpressParenting is hard, no doubt and can transform your life in ways you can't imagine. These hilarious punchlines from celebrated comedians will tickle your funny ...
Parenting tips: How to ensure your child is not bullied  Times NowAccording to a study conducted recently, it was found that children with multiple siblings are at a higher risk of being bullied in comparison to children with only ...
Dancing in the rain: The joys and jolts of parenting  Hindustan TimesChildren grow up and become individuals, but their essence remains the same.
Parenting in Manhattan is a Darwinian struggle  The GuardianA slew of new books treats child-raising like another branch of economics that only the fittest will survive, says Guardian columnist Emma Brockes.
Parenting advice people used to believe that you shouldn't listen to  INSIDEREveryone has an opinion about the "right" way to be a parent. Some outdated pieces of parenting advice range from misinformed to dangerous.
Train wreck: Healing for two and parenting with PTSD  SalonPTSD. Mild as far as these things go. Just a nanosecond flash of adrenaline when the subway jerks to one side or the other. Whoa, big turn, I thought to myself, ...
Sometimes, parenting is boring  Daily NationBabies are boring, toddlers are boring, mothers are bored, fathers are bored.
6 habits parents need to give up for their child  The Indian ExpressIt is no secret how quickly children pick up habits from their parents. And that's all the more reason why parents need to set a good example to inculcate good ...
Other View: Free-range parenting under attack  Twin Falls Times-NewsOn the one hand — wow. Two professors are eagerly warning about the dangers of the movement I founded, free-range parenting. That's almost flattering!
Rachel Brosnahan Defends Midge's Lack of Parenting on 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'  The Cheat SheetFans of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are beyond smitten with Rachel Brosnahan's character, Midge, but some have found fault with the lack of interaction the ...
Intensive (often impossible) parenting is all the rage  Futurity: Research NewsRegardless of their education, income, or race, most parents say a child-centered, time-intensive approach to parenting is the best way to raise their kids, ...
Whitman: Seventh Mom Project helps mothers share parenting-related struggles  Tampa Bay TimesThe Tampa area non-profit is dedicated to helping women manage maternal mood disorders.
Fort Pierce Class in Fort Pierce teaches 'Secrets of Modern Parenting'  WPTV.comKimberly Eardley heads up "Families of the Treasure Coast" and is behind a course called the "Secrets of Modern Parenting."
Anne Hathaway is following Prince William-Kate’s parenting trick. Here’s how it helps  The Indian ExpressAnne Hathaway has started following the royal couple's practice of bending down to maintain eye contact with their children while speaking, she said in an ...
Watch: What you need to teach children about food  The Indian ExpressDoes your child throw tantrums about eating certain foods? Or does he or she love to eat junk? Diet-related diseases are spreading like an epidemic today.
Open Letter to Faculty of Color Parenting While On The Tenure-Track  Diverse: Issues in Higher EducationWe are compelled to write this open letter to our fellow faculty of color colleagues who are navigating tenure-track while raising little humans. As graduate st.
Research Shows Helicopter Parenting Leads To Successful Kids  MomsKids whose parents were considered more intense and involved were more likely to graduate from college and go on to get graduate degrees.
South Korean mums parent at resorts – while the kids learn English  South China Morning PostOverseas programmes combining leisure time for mothers and study for children are big business in the country.
Hax: Resist the urge to be a parenting coach  Minneapolis Star TribuneAdapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My husband and I got married and had kids relatively young, especially by his family's standards.
Prince William's Parenting Advice For Prince Harry  The FriskyPrince William and Kate Middleton have shown exceptional parenting skills. It is very likely that Prince Harry wonders what kind of parents he and Meghan ...
What free-range parenting is and how it could change the way SC children are supervised  WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SCA bill in the South Carolina senate would clarify state law saying that parents who let their kids go off on their own are not neglectful.
How Having A Neurodivergent Child Has Changed My Outlook On Life  Scary MommyI have a neurodivergent child, and I've learned what is truly important. I have learned to follow instead of lead. I have learned that it's not a competition.
“You’re much bigger than my friend...” The moment I realised parenting is one huge contest.  MamamiaMilestones of development: Parenting just feels like one big contest. And a contest means that there has to be a loser. Baby milestones put on pressure.
Anne Hathaway follows Prince William and Kate Middleton's parenting playbook  USA TODAYMom of a 2-year-old son, Hathaway said she read about Kate Middleton and Prince William's way to make children feel empowered and followed their lead.
Why People Are Ridiculing Russell Brand's Comments On Parenting  Refinery29Russell Brand has been keeping a lower profile lately, but the famously loquacious actor-comedian is trending on Twitter today thanks to a fascinating profile in ...
Parenting Books Aren't Much Help for Actual Parenting  The AtlanticHarvey Karp makes soothing babies look like a cinch. In the video that accompanies his best-selling book The Happiest Baby on the Block, he holds one ...
Peter Andre ignores Katie Price parenting controversy as he shares hilarious glimpse into family life with kids  CelebsNowPeter Andre has shared a hilarious glimpse into his family life with Emily after ex Katie Price was accused of turning up hours late for parenting duties.
Prince William Gives New Dads Advice on Parenting ‘Fragile’ Infants: ‘It’s Very Daunting’  Us WeeklyPrince William shared parenting advice for new dads raising 'fragile' infants at a charity event on Thursday, February 14 — details.
How young is too young to be home alone? It should be up to parents, SC lawmakers say  The StateSouth Carolina lawmakers removed a minimum age at which a child could be left on his or her own in a vehicle or at home under a proposed free-range ...
NRL Player vs. Parents: Is parenting harder than sport?  Now To LoveIn a new experiment, NRL star Kalyn Ponga proves Aussie parents work harder in a day than a professional rugby league athlete does during a match.
Problems with today’s parenting  NEWS.com.auPARENTING has never been more stressful, with mums and dads moving cities even countries for jobs, leaving behind the backup of family and friends, experts ...
Kate's parenting confession will resonate with all mums and dads  9HoneyThe Duchess of Cambridge has made a confession about her parenting skills in the early days of becoming a m...
A Parenting and Life Skills Intervention for Teen Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial  AAP NewsBACKGROUND: Teen mothers often present with depression, social complexity, and inadequate parenting skills. Many have rapid repeat pregnancy, which ...
Real Housewives Give Their Best Parenting Advice to First-Time Dad Andy Cohen  PEOPLE.comThe stars of the hit reality TV franchise are the ones guiding their Bravo boss now.
Positive Parenting: How 'Sesame Street's' Julia is Helping Parents & Kids  9&10 NewsAutism is a condition that can cause developmental delays, trouble with communication and repetitive behavior. In 2017, one of America's most enduring ...
Parenting in the age of legal pot: Household rules, conversations help guide teen use  Science DailyThe legalization of marijuana in Washington state in 2012 gave parents the opportunity for a new teachable moment. Many say that as society has become more ...
Ideal Ways to Raise a Child  The New York TimesReaders discuss helicopter parenting and the value of boredom.
Russell Brand accused of ‘sexist’ parenting style, after admitting his wife Laura ‘does all of it’  The IndependentRussell Brand has never spent 24 hours in sole charge of his children, the comedian revealed in a recent interview. His comments have prompted accusations ...
Russell Brand's 'inept' parenting is unacceptable and not at all cute  USA TODAYThe "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" star said he feels "inept" when parenting. All parents do. But they also learn basic childcare skills. So should he.
Interactive quizzes can make learning fun for kids  The Indian ExpressQuizzes help students develop and improve participative skills. Even if kids do not know the right answer, they wish to take risks to discover it and improve their ...
A Parenting Intervention to Improve Positive Life Skills in Teen  AAP NewsWe are familiar with the risk factors that can put the infant of a teenage mother at risk, including adverse social determinants of health or simply lacking parenting ...
David Brody | January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month  Santa Cruz SentinelThe Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has declared January as Positive Parenting Awareness Month in Santa Cruz County for the seventh consecutive ...
What is the South Carolina law about free range parenting?  The StateSouth Carolina is considering changing how parents can supervise their children. They are calling it free range parenting. Here is what the law states.
I love my child but I don’t love parenting. Will this change?  The Washington PostQ: I love my child. She is magic. But I don't love parenting. I just don't love this phase — she's 3½ , and, man, is it relentless. I miss the space to be still and alone, ...
My dad’s lesson in parenting through grief, served with a side of eggs  The Washington PostMy mother's and my husband's deaths were different. And yet they both left a young spouse behind to pick up the pieces.
'Parenting' is on its way out, child-rearing is coming back | Rosemond  Reno Gazette JournalThere is “parenting” and then there is bringing up, rearing or raising children. The difference is night and day; so are the outcomes.
Positive Parenting: “It's never too late to parent”  WKOWYou might have heard that to raise a child, you need to “nip” bad behavior in the bud early. But a new study shows that's not necessarily the case.
Parenting Styles for ADHD Children: Brick Wall, Jellyfish, or Backbone Caregivers  ADDitudeWhat is the best parenting style for parents of ADHD children? The authoritarian style, the permissive child-rearing style, and the authoritative style. Figure out ...
Singapore parenting must evolve, says DPM Tharman as he warns against helicopter parenting  The Straits TimesSINGAPORE - As Singapore broadens its education system, parenting also needs to evolve, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Friday ...
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel': Rachel Brosnahan on Midge's Parenting  TVLine'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' star Rachel Brosnahan pushed back at fans calling her character Midge a 'terrible mother.'
Karan Johar Slams A Troll On Twitter Who Questioned His Parenting  MissMaliniKaran Johar slams a troll who questioned his parenting parenting. "Ma'm!! With all due respect! Get a life!" he said.
Cornell Researcher Finds Intensive Parenting Style Popular Across Socioeconomic Groups  Cornell University The Cornell Daily SunAccording to Cornell researcher Patrick Ishizuka, intensive parenting has become a dominant parenting style across socioeconomic groups.
Parenting tips: getting ready for school  TES NewsWe need to support parents help their children's learning in the early years, argues Sir Kevan Collins.
Positive Parenting: More Sleep, Better Parents  9&10 NewsMost experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep a night. But according to the CDC, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. don't get enough sleep ...
Urbana church sets meeting for parenting-support program Feb. 18  Champaign/Urbana News-GazetteURBANA — A local church has set a second meeting for its Sharing Thoughts on Effective Parenting program.Dublin Street Church of Christ Pastor Courtney ...
LIVING WITH CHILDREN: Parenting or child-rearing? The difference is like night and day  GoDanRiver.comThere is “parenting” and then there is bringing up, rearing or raising children.
On Parenting: Meghan Leahy took your questions about parenting  Washington PostMeghan Leahy, a parenting coach with Positively Parenting, joined On Parenting editor Amy Joyce to talk about parenting children of all ages. Amy Joyce.
Positive Parenting: How to Help Kids Grow Math Skills  9&10 NewsSpatial sequencing is important for developing math skills, especially geometry. But for preschoolers, some types of sequences are hard to learn. Today in ...
Sarah Jessica Parker gives Andy Cohen parenting support  FemaleFirst.co.ukSarah Jessica Parker has been speaking to Andy Cohen on an almost-daily basis since he became a dad.
This weekend, try these easy chocolate recipes  The Indian ExpressBrownie cake to chocolate bomb, here are some easy chocolate dessert recipes that your children will love to eat.
Creating Effective Parenting Plans  Mediate.comThis article discusses working with your children's developmental needs when creating a parenting plan.
The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works  The New York TimesNew research shows that hyper-involved parenting is the route to kids' success in today's unequal world.
The parenting technique Anne Hathaway borrowed from Kate Middleton  Yahoo Lifestyle*Fresh* from her revelation that she has quit drinking alcohol for the sake of her son, Anne Hathaway has admitted she has adopted a parenting technique from ...
CIARA SAYS SHE AND RUSSELL WILSON SHARE THE SAME APPROACH TO PARENTING  BCKCiara is grateful for a husband, Russell Wilson, who shares her approach to parenting. The celebrity mom tells Yahoo! Lifestyle about her rearing style.
Hasbro's New Game Is Part Cards Against Humanity, Part What Do You Meme?, and All Parenting Humor  POPSUGARIf the games Cards Against Humanity and What Do You Meme? had a baby together, it'd be Hasbro's new game for parents: Raising Hell. The party game for ...
This parenting trick could help curb your kid's tech addiction  QuartzI make my teenager write a report on every new app she wants to download.
Parenting An Extrovert In An Introvert-Centric World  NPRMark Oppenheimer is a father of five. He recently wrote a piece for The Washington Post about how to raise an extrovert. He and his extroverted daughter Anna ...
How NBA All-Stars Kemba Walker, Stephen Curry embody the power of fine parenting  Charlotte ObserverNBA All-Star Game: Kemba Walker and Stephen Curry share deep ties to Charlotte and the benefit of great parenting.
What My Teen Said That Made Me Realize I Was Making A Huge Parenting Mistake  Scary MommyMy teen son finally had the courage to say something that was brewing for a long time. And it was a hard lesson for me to realize I had been making a huge ...
Queen of Sweden visits parenting project  University of Cape Town NewsSweden's Queen Silvia delighted residents of Touwsranten, a small town in the Western Cape, and staff of the Seven Passes Initiative earlier this month when ...
Celine Dion talks parenting and letting her kids find their own way  ABC NewsIn a recent interview with Dan Wootton on "Lorraine," the singer and mother of three spoke at length about her relationship with her 18-year-old son.
New book offering 1000 parenting tips includes 30 Cape Breton mothers  Cape Breton PostIf you are looking for parenting advice, 100 moms are ready to help, with many of their tips having a Cape Breton touch. Doreen Coady, formerly of Sydney and ...
WHAT is responsive parenting and how you can raise confident kids with it  Times of IndiaFor a child to survive and thrive, they need good nutrition, safe environment and responsive parenting. Responsive parenting is nothing but interactiv.
Similarities in Parenting and Friedreich’s Ataxia  Friedreich's Ataxia NewsColumnist Kendall Harvey shares some similarities she sees between life with kids and life with a progressive disease, affecting both humor and sanity.
Gbenro Ajibade calls out wife, Osas for bad parenting  Kemi Filani NewsFollowing suspicions that all may not be well in the marriage of Tinsel actors, Gbenro and Osas Ajibade, there may be new facts to strengthen every speculation ...
Why Swedes Are Chiller Parents Than Americans  The AtlanticA new book looks at the wide variety of parenting styles around the world.
Why Some Parents Pick Alternative Parenting Titles Beyond 'Mom' And 'Dad'  HuffPost CanadaSome LGBTQ parents are shaking the monikers up.
Sports Parenting: Put aside your own competitive urge and let the kids play  The Providence JournalMy youngest son loved basketball so much that he cried when the Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas. He cried again when we watched Gordon Hayward break his ...
Author talk on parenting and other things to do in Greenwich  Greenwich TimeFor the latest events and activities happening in Greenwich, turn to For the record. To have your event included, submit a description, date, time, price and ...
What would a “free range parenting” law mean for SC children?  The StateSC state Sen. Wes Climer, R-York, talks about his "free range parenting bill," which would allow kids to go to parks and be alone at home or in a car without a ...
Ma’am get a life: Karan Johar slams Twitter troll for questioning his parenting  Hindustan TimesFilmmaker Karan Johar has slammed a Twitter user for questioning his qualifications as a parent. Karan is single father to twins Yash and Roohi, whom he ...
The Unavoidable Weirdness Of Parenting  Wisconsin Public Radio NewsIf you're a parent, you've probably resorted to some unconventional means to stay sane and get your kid to behave.
Anne Hathaway took some parenting tips from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge  Royal CentralThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a fan in Anne Hathaway. She recently praised their parenting techniques in an interview with The Sunday Times.
Positive Parenting in Port Lincoln  Port Lincoln TimesFree workshops to provide parents with the basics of positive parenting are being held at the Port Lincoln Library in February. Three free sessions are availa...
JoinTheDots – a movement for diligent parenting  Deccan ChronicleWith Government data showing that every 15 minutes, a child is sexually abused in India, the menace of child sexual abuse calls for urgent attention.
‘Making Time for You’ topic of Parenting Group meeting Feb. 14  Vanderbilt University NewsJessica Turner, author of Stretched Too Thin and The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, will discuss self-care for parents at the next meeting of the Margaret ...
Advocates say “equal parenting time” custody bill has safeguards in place  HOI ABCUPDATE -- In Springfield, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee is reviewing a bill that would change the way courts decide child parenting.
Mom's Hilarious Charts About Parenting Are Guaranteed To Make You Laugh  HuffPostArtist Bonnie Kimmerly has put a fun twist on the usual parenting comics by creating hilarious charts and diagrams about what it's really like to be a mom.

Best Investment

Every week I write something about the stock market -... Read More

Simple Tricks To Help You And Your Kids To Find Friends

One of the most prevalent problems of the computer age... Read More

Pieces of Time and Pivotal Moments

Life is comprised of pieces of time sprinkled with pivotal... Read More

Free Stuff for Twins: Incentives for Parents of Multiple Births

A sure way to double the joys of parenthood is... Read More

Elephants and Teenagers

Something eerily familiar happened in KwaZulu-Natal's Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park in Africa... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: How to Say NO!

Q: Whenever we tell my daughter "no," she just bugs... Read More

Baby Name Meanings

Speaking as a Michael (a Hebrew name, meaning "Who is... Read More

I Cant Sleep Without You

When my firstborn arrived into this serene and peaceful household,... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: What Parents Say About Teens

What is hard for parentsLetting them learn from their mistakes.Trying... Read More

Income that PAYS Your Child Support WITHOUT Increasing Your Child Support

Child support is defined as that part of your income... Read More

ADHD: A Dialogue With a Non-Believer, Part Five

Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read... Read More

Assertiveness: Key to Better Parenting

I have always been aware of my number one weakness:... Read More

When A Parent Is Deployed

When a parent is deployed with the military it can... Read More

Ten Tips to Stimulate Your Newborns Senses

A number of scientific studies have shown the way a... Read More

Is Your Teen Stressed? Teach Them How to Manage Their Time, Schoolwork, and Leisure Activities

I hear from many parents that their child is stressed... Read More

How To Use Positive Child Discipline

I am a single mother of a 17 year old... Read More

Summer Survival

Summer Survival The... Read More

Finding Out Your Child Has a Disability: Its Not the end of the World

Finding out that a child has been born with a... Read More

5 Tips for Improving Communication With Your Teenager

Parents are always looking for ways to open up the... Read More

Parenting: The Road I Chose

Tripping over the shoes and toys that seem to clutter... Read More

Shopping with Children

Is your weekly shopping trip with the kids an absolute... Read More

Mom vs. Dad: Navigating Parenting Differences With All Good Intentions

Let's face it: raising children can be quite the adventure.... Read More

Ten Reasons to Tell your Kids Stories

In today's busy world, many parents have lost the art... Read More

Picky Eaters - Successful Strategies Part 1

What is in a name?The answer is everything!Jo J. of... Read More

The Recipe For The Making Of A Self-Assured Child: One Part Communication, Two Parts Love

Each child carries a unique picture of the self, shaped... Read More