Your baby is growing up into a little lady or man with imagination galore. They may now be attending preschool, playtime with other children, or even learning to dance hip-hop or ballet! Your child loves to move and get involved with their surroundings as their brain begins to take in more of what the world and other people have to offer.
Your child’s imagination capabilities are at their highest at age 3, leading them to the ultimate peak of pretend play. With pretend play, lots of questions begin to arise for your child about why things are the way they are and what things do. You may be overwhelmed with all your child’s questions, but this stage of development is a critical point in his or her understanding of everything around them.
Be patient and enjoy this time of filling your child with useful knowledge and self-esteem. He or she will need this in order to survive life and to feel comfortable expressing their needs and feelings in the future.
As your child’s independence increases drastically, so does their social and emotional development. They will find a lot of enjoyment dressing up as others, such as a mom, dad, police officer, teacher, or doctor. Your child will also be starting to compare themselves with others, which is why it’s important to encourage and praise your child to build their self-esteem from this early stage.
Your child’s physical ability to safely move around much more can also sometimes be difficult to keep up with at this time!
This is the age where role play toys become more intricate as your child knows more about the way things in the world work. Choose a theme that your child loves, such as dolls and a small table to serve tea, a cleaning set to mimic cleaning the house, a racetrack and cars to pretend to be a race car driver, or a princess castle to pretend to be one of your child’s favorite princesses.
These toys mainly encourage development of sensory skills, imagination and creativity, and the ability to share and cooperate with others.
Get in and play with your child to encourage more imagination with your interaction. You may add some problems into the role play setting to encourage problem solving. You’ll both have so much fun taking the real world out of the equation and pretending to play in a comfortable environment!