Importance of Pretend Play and How to Encourage it

As your children grow they start to become more social. Watching my child grow is so fascinating. IT’s amazing all that a child can learn in just the first few years of life. One of the biggest parts of parenthood is finding ways to encourage pretend play. Not only is pretend play important, but it’s something every parent should consider encouraging. Today I’m sharing some tips to help you understand the importance of this type of play and how you can set your house up to encourage pretend play.

Importance of Pretend Play

Hape Toys Cook and Serve KitchenPIN IT!

Improves Development
Pretend play helps your child with early developmental skills. During pretend play sessions your child will be boosting their memory skills, logical reasoning skills, and imagination. Each of these developmental areas is important for healthy child growth.

Encourages Independence
While you can enjoy pretend play with your child, this is an activity that they can do on their own. Being able to enjoy pretend play will help encourage your child to be more independent. Pretend play is an activity that your child will be able to use to entertain themselves when you have other tasks to do.

Improves Delayed Gratification
Since most of our children are growing up in an electronically driven world, it’s important to encourage the beauty of delayed gratification. Pretend play isn’t something that will instantly give a reward to your child, thus helping them reduce aggression and improving their delayed gratification skills.

How to Encourage Pretend Play

pretend playPIN IT!

Setup Pretend Play Stations
Purchase some items that will encourage your child to have their own pretend play stations. This could be something as simple as a child’s indoor teepee, a play kitchen or costumes. You’ll know best which pretend play station ideas will work to encourage your child to engage in pretend play regularly.

Read Stories and Reenact Them
Another way to encourage pretend play is to read stories together. During storytime, you can have your child reenact their favorite parts of the story. This is a great way to use those pretend play costumes I recommended for your pretend play station.

Schedule Time
Lastly, if you truly want to encourage pretend play time then have a time allotted for this type of play during your child’s daily routine. Scheduling a time for pretend play will help your child learn how to manage their time and in turn strengthen the skills I mentioned earlier regarding the benefits of pretend play.

There you have it, some of the reasons why pretend play is important and how you can set your home up in a way that encourages your child to enjoy pretend play regularly. I hope that you’ll use the tips I shared today to introduce the world of pretend play to your child soon.


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  • Audrey McClelland

    I think this is excellent info for new parents of toddlers. I used to love watching our kids pretend play.

  • Nicole

    I love this! Pretend play is so important!

  • Julie Cao

    Pretend play is such a good idea for children’s to develop skills and practice delay gratification. There are so muchthey can learn from this in their early years.

  • Matt Taylor

    I had never thought about it as pretend play, but it totally makes sense. Especially with those cool little kitchen sets for kids! Better believe when I have kids I am going to have one of those, so they can pretend play in their little kitchen until they can help me in the real kitchen, hahah. 🙂


    Great post! I really enjoy reading stories to my girls.. When they were younger they really enjoyed pretend play. Thanks for sharing the importance of pretend play.


  • Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    Oh yeah….you have mentioned a very important point about delaying gratification! The times we live in now are very strange and pretend-play can actually take a while to master and play which in turn breeds curiosity in the young one. We need so much of it, one of these days.


    I love the tip about scheduling time to pretend play. Given the benefits, it’s definitely important to fit this kind of play in and if you don’t plan it, it won’t happen!

  • Zak

    A child’s imagination is a wonderful thing. Letting them express themselves however they want is critical for when they grow up. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kevin Akidi

    I love this, it is true we learn more from play than from studying but as we grow older we lose the aspect of play. It is important to allow and encourage our kids to play especially in this age of technology.

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams

    I agree its so important to have pretend play. it’s a great way to encourage creativity!

  • Kate Murray

    Oh YES, YES! I so agree! Kids are glued to their electronic devices, so it’s incredibly important to keep encouraging them to play!

  • GiGi Eats

    Oh yes, PRETEND will be the forefront of our household when my son starts understanding what things are! I love watching him grow and learning what things are and it’s only going to get that much cooler when he gets older!

  • Milica

    I enjoyed reading this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • the joyous living

    i don’t have kid but i was curious about your list of ways to inspire pretend play. reenacting books and stories sounds like a great idea. joy

  • Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    These are great tips on how to encourage and nurture pretend play

  • Sarah Bailey

    It is amazing how you can help turn play into an exercise who really helps a child learn new things.

  • Bella

    I loved playing kitchen when I was little it inspired me to love ot bake and cook now that i’m older.

  • Bella

    I use to play house all the time and baker it was amazing. I really loved baking and now I bake all the time and cooking is the best.

  • katrina Kroeplin

    i love pretend play. it’s so important.. i love electronics but i also try to limit it.

  • Lily

    I am so happy you are encouraging pretend play. The pretend play can make them feel like they are doing adult things in their own child-like world.

  • Angela

    Thank you for these great tips for encouraging pretend play. It’s so important that children learn to create their own play and foster their imagination.

  • Kacie Morgan

    Pretend play is great! I always loved playing with the little ‘kitchen’ set-up I had when I was a kid, with all the fake food etc! I think it’s a great way to start to teach kids how to look after themselves in the big wide world.

  • Chad

    I had no idea pretend play was that important, amazing!!! Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge, i am sharing it back.

  • aisasami

    As a teacher, I really encourage pretend play, especially with my 3 years old. It is a critical step for their age as it helps them be imagination as well as give them practice in how to speak English in a different situation (I teach preschool to Japanese kids who learn English in my classroom).

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    My grandson uses his hand to as an imaginary train. He would then slip his “train” under his pillow and he says “train inside station now.” Pretend play encourages creativity and it does help with learning.

  • Jay Mih

    This is so interesting! I have a couple nephews and will send this over to my sis to read. Thanks for the info.

  • tweenselmom

    I agree that pretend play is important. My kids use to do these when they were toddlers and I miss them doing so.

  • Kira

    Absolutely love this post and couldn’t agree with you anymore . Pretend play is so important . Nila is two and it has helped her come on leaps and bounds

  • Samar

    Scheduling time is what i find is very difficult.

    Thanks for pointing out all of the pointers.

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    I love that you focus on encouraging your son to use his imagination. It’s important to let them do so at this age,

  • Kara Guppy

    I work with early years children and play is so important for them as it helps them to learn to share, develop relationships and resolve conflicts

  • Cecilia Keinapel

    This is so true! Children will appreciate if so much. Even though it might feel like its not fun for you, they will love it so much! Always used to do this to my nephews and nieces! 🙂