Ever since he was born, Baby has learned by watching the people around him. As he grows into toddlerhood, you’ll probably find that he still is, and that he’s more interested in toys that imitate activities he sees you doing. Imitation might seem like a strange place for imagination to grow, but the ability to see his toy kitchen as equal to the place his dinner comes from, or his push-car to the vehicle you use to drive him 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 his own, but now and then, a little involvement from you might be exactly what Baby’s imagination games need. You can join him in the play kitchen and ask him questions about the menu, or take a “car” trip with him on the couch, and talk to him about the sights you might be driving past. You can encourage his development as he enters the land of make-believe by letting him take the lead, and by not providing a structured set of rules. You’ll learn a lot about his perspective on the world, and will have plenty of laughs along the way as he surprises you with his point of view.