At Simply Inspired, we love seeing what little ones’ minds can create. We like to say that a child’s imagination is the most wondrous place on Earth! Don’t you agree? When a child plays make-believe and engages in pretend play, they’re doing so much more than simply having fun. They’re shaping their minds, they’re learning hard skills that will take them through life, and they’re shaping the center of their beings. And in today’s day and age, where technology is ever-present, they’ve found that over half of children aren’t getting enough pretend playtime as they grow.
So, how exactly does pretend play help children grow every day and how as parents and grandparents can you help them thrive? Let’s dive in!
3 Reasons Pretend Play is Important for Child Development
While every child grows and learns differently, there are a few proven ways that pretend play impacts a child’s development in the early years of life. These are a few:
Pretend Play Sparks Creativity & Critical Thinking
Pretend Play Supports Language & Social Development
Pretend Play Develops Fine Motor Skills
Some of Simply Inspired’s Favorite Pretend Play Products
Part of our mission at Simply Inspired is to provide parents and grandparents with the tools they need to help raise the next generation of leaders, scientists, activists, teachers, caregivers, and more. Through imaginative play, we can allow children to exercise their minds and become exactly who they are meant to be! Here is just a small sampling of our favorite imaginary play products, there are so many more from our partners across the globe which you can find on the site, too.
Finger Puppets & Hand Puppets
Puppets provide freedom of expression that is delightful to watch in your kiddos. Make a cardboard box theater together so they can put on a show with their band of puppets! Putting on a show helps develop their language and speaking skills, as well as their confidence and creativity, and problem-solving skills, as they develop the storyline to share.
Plush Stuffed Dolls
Dolls are perhaps one of the most popular options for pretend play! Playing with dolls allows children to act out scenarios from their life, create an understanding of the world around them, as well as learn more about things like diversity, as not all of our doll collection looks the same. They also help expand vocabulary by playing out new situations and cultivating caretaking skills.
Sustainably-Crafted Wooden Toys
Every parent’s priority is keeping their children safe. And most don’t realize that many toys are manufactured in a way that is destroying the environment they’ll grow up in. These Tender Leaf favorites are manufactured in a sustainable way with recycled materials and wood, as well as providing fair trade wages for families in Sri Lanka working in the factory. Plus, they replant 100% of the wood they use to create these lovely toys!
We point out machine washable because let’s be honest, once kids get playing, things sometimes get messy. Costumes or playing dress-up allow kids to role-play. This, in turn, can inspire greater creativity and empathy, while allowing them to explore who they are.
3 Ways Parents & Grandparents Can Inspire Pretend Play
Parenting is a lot of figuring it out as you go. We know how that goes! But when it comes to how to use toys effectively for learning and growth, many don’t realize the impact that the simplest toys can have. So, how do you inspire your child to engage with simple and impactful pretend play? Here are a few ideas:
Purchase Toys that Cultivate Imagination
Use Toys to Explain Real-Life Scenarios
Let Your Child Lead, But Push Them Along if Needed
The best part? Engaging in pretend play together is a wonderful way to create happy memories as a family. And that’s invaluable!
We’re Ready to Help You Inspire the Next Generation with Pretend Play
Our team works incredibly hard to source products that provide meaning and value in the lives of families everywhere. The carefully curated selection of pretend play toys has been designed to support families raising the next generation to be good, kind humans who can make this world a better place. Wondering which toys your kiddo will love? Browse the site with them and have them point out what speaks to them!