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:

Real time parenting  Bangalore Mirror
Conscious Parenting  Citizen Times

How to Assist Troubled Teens

What parents of a teen haven't wondered where their sweet... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: What to Do When Your Teen Feels Left Out

On a recent Saturday evening, I noticed a young teen-age... Read More

Spend Time Not Money With The Kids This Winter

Spending quality time with your children doesn't need to cost... Read More

The ADD Child: Challenging Parents, Teachers and Friends

The ADD child exhibits a series of behaviors that are... Read More

Renee?s Mommy is Here

I still remember the scene vividly. I was getting out... Read More

The Added Advantage In African American Childrens Education: Computer Homeschooling (Part 2)

We've got spirit, yes we do! We've got spirit how... Read More

EEG Biofeedback Training as a Treatment Option for ADHD

The popularity of EEG Biofeedback Training continues to grow both... Read More

10 Tips for Making Daily Physical Activity Part of Your Childs Life!

Here's some of the bad news about sedentary lifestyles:? Forty... Read More

Power Foods for a Powerful School Lunch

There isn't a school day that goes by that I... Read More

Making Internet Chat Safe For Your Children

No matter what you say or do, your kids will... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Self-Decorating or Self-Harm - How to Tell the Difference

Q. I need your help with a question about my... Read More

After the Driving School

If you visit search engines you can find several resources... Read More

Is There Any Real Use For A Fun Quiz?

Q. I don't like my children spending so much time... Read More

Raising a Tobacco-Free Kid

We begin forming healthy habits at a young age. With... Read More

Develop Your Childs Genius: One Step Farther

When is a person brilliant? When does a person show... Read More

5 Tips for Improving Communication With Your Teenager

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

Back to School Success Tips

Q. With the school year just beginning, what can we... Read More

The Ten Most Common Poisons Among Kids

For parents, keeping our kids safe is a constant top... Read More

How to Help Your Children to Blossom

I am writing this from the beautiful mountains of Western... Read More

5 Simple Steps Guaranteed To Allow You To Spend More Time With Your Children This Summer

Look around: Your kids are counting sleeps until the last... Read More

Ten Helpful Little Tips For New Parents

The Greatest Gifts in Life, which are always created for... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: How to Respond to Manipulation

Q. My daughter has gotten very good at manipulating us,... Read More

Top Seven Tips for Back-to-School Success

Parents play a critical role in their child's success. These... Read More

Is My Child Lazy?

Is there a difference between lazy and unmotivated? Why do... Read More

Homeschooling --- A Superior Education For Your Child

Home-schooling provides children with a superior education. Parents can quickly... Read More