Fun and games: Imaginary play

Ever since she was born, Baby has learned by watching the people around her. As she grows into toddlerhood, you’ll probably find that she still is, and that she’s more interested in toys that imitate activities she sees you doing. Imitation might seem like a strange place for imagination to grow, but the ability to see her toy kitchen as equal to the place her dinner comes from, or her push-car to the vehicle you use to drive her to daycare in is the first way many children start to use their imaginations.

Some of these early pieces of imaginary play can and should be things Baby does on her own, but now and then, a little involvement from you might be exactly what Baby’s imagination games need. You can join her in the play kitchen and ask her questions about the menu, or take a “car” trip with her on the couch, and talk to her about the sights you might be driving past. You can encourage her development as she enters the land of make-believe by letting her take the lead, and by not providing a structured set of rules. You’ll learn a lot about her perspective on the world, and will have plenty of laughs along the way as she surprises you with her point of view.

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