What’s going on for baby?

At this age pretend play will be interesting and fun for toddlers. Toddlers can try out being different people or animals. They can also act out situations they’ve experienced.

Toddlers can use pretend play to rehearse something that’s going to happen. It can help prepare them for things like health checks, dental visits or starting at a new early childhood centre. 

They can also pretend play to retell stories from books they enjoy and to ‘work through’ things that might be troubling them.

Pretend play strengthens problem solving, co-operation and communication skills, and self-care skills like dressing and undressing.

How can parents and whānau help?

  • Collect hats, bags, scarves, ties and shoes for a little ‘dress up’ kit. Ask family and friends for their ‘rejects’ or buy items from second-hand shops.
  • Make simple tails or ears for animal roles. Tails can be made from old ties, or stockings stuffed with paper or fabric. A headband with a couple of ears taped on can make an easy pretend animal.
  • Be ready to join in the pretend play.
  • Dolls, soft toys or old phones can all help dad and mum talk about some of the ‘tricky’ things.
  • Store everything in a bag, drawer or suitcase for easy access and clean up.

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