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Pretend Play and Dress Up Encourages Imaginative Play

The imagination of a child is something to be encouraged and valued. Young children learn many skills through imagination, from independent games, interactive games, language and cognitive skills to name a few. Pretending to play and dress are wonderful ways to allow your child to dream and act out all sorts of fun adventures.

There are a large variety of excellent toys available to enhance their imaginative experiences, some of which include; kitchen and oven toys, dress up costumes, gardening toys, cleaning toys, money and bank sets, spy toys, tools and puppets.

Your child will likely watch you prepare and cook meals every day. There are many cooking and baking games that allow your child to have hours of fun. Some of the wonderful toys made are; picnic baskets (complete with bread, cheese, lettuce, hot dogs and rolls, ketchup, corn on the cob, etc.), oven sets, plastic kitchen sets, a wide range of tea sets, pots and pans, table sets (complete with plates, utensils, bowls and cups) and coffee sets. It’s easy for your child to set up their own imaginary little kitchen with ovens that actually bake biscuits, mini-fridges working, plastic fridges, microwaves, stoves, barbecues and toasters. Small shopping markets complete with plastic shop items and cash registers can be purchased, along with machines for rubber balls and articulated machines, the list is truly endless.

The disguise game is a favorite of all ages for children, whether it’s dressing in dad’s baseball uniform or having fun with mom’s closet. There is a huge variety of all types of different types of costumes, masks and accessories for children to choose from. The costumes are available in models such as uniforms for firefighters and police, uniforms for doctors and veterinarians, engineer overalls, magic hats with cloak and gloves, dresses, maid outfits, cherubs, devils, witches, dancers and character suits popular with capes and pectoral muscles to name a few. Fantastic accessories like crowns, tiara sets, ninja swords, light sabers, cowboy hats, bags complete with keys and mobile phones, medical and medical kits and magic kits. The dress up game allows your child to use their imagination in a fun way through role-playing games and acting as adventures.

For all young landscape architecture enthusiasts there are wonderful gardening tools and accessories available. The small wheelbarrows are made of plastic and metal designs (small metal designs look and work just like adult counterparts), both useful for removing dirt, weeds and gravel around the courtyard. Metal and plastic gardening buckets, watering cans, mini gardening sets (complete with mini rake, shovel and trowels), gardening aprons, gardening boxes with seeds (mini rake, shovel, trowel and bucket), gardening rakes, shovels and gardening gloves can also be purchased. Other adorable gardening sets include planters, seeds and small fairy cottages ready to be planted around.

Probably the only time the child will enjoy cleaning will be when they are young. Most children seem to love helping mom or dad with cleaning and simple household chores. With that said, you will find many cleaning toys to keep your baby busy and entertained for hours on end. Vacuum cleaners, cleaning sets (complete with broom, mop, gloves and buckets), irons and ironing boards, working sewing machines and washing machines for clothes are just some of the items to find.

An encouraging and fun way to help children understand how money works early is to have them play with money and toys and bank games. There are a variety of cash registers available complete with fake money, fake credit cards, price scanners, price control microphones and readings that offer learning opportunities for different skills from fine motor skills, math skills and cognitive skills.

Today there are more spying toys available than ever. There are espionage listeners (which allow children to listen in other rooms or to be used as stethoscopes), detective sets, mini keyboard transmitters that allow children to exchange text messages, spy glasses, motion detector sets with sensors infrared, spy cameras available in sunglasses or wrist styles (complete with real movie) and walkie-talkies. Spy pens are available with a variety of motion activated alarm options, flashlights and magnifying glasses. These toys not only offer hours of fun, but toys such as motion detectors and infrared sensors teach children basic electronic skills.

Kids love doing things at home just like dad or mom, especially anything that has to do with tools. Complete tool sets for children are available with belts, chests and tool boxes. You can find any tool imaginable from saws, levels, planers, wrenches, screwdrivers, drills and hammers. Seminars (complete with storage boxes for tools) with work horses and workbenches can provide the basis for all your child’s building adventures. And for when your kid ventures outdoors to do some work there are working mini wheelbarrows, lawnmowers, lawnmowers, rakes, shovels, hoes, chainsaws (with sound effects) and blowers to complete the job. Obviously you will want to be sure that they always wear their hard hat.

Finally, another popular part of the pretend game is the use of puppets. The puppets are found in the designs of hand puppets, finger puppets, bath puppets, baby puppets, pop-ups and puppets. Along with the puppets there are puppet accessories and wonderful puppet theaters to add to the fun. There is no end to the puppet designs available of cartoon characters, fantasy (fairies, magicians), people and animals (aquatic, birds, insects, dinosaurs, dogs, farm animals, fish and frogs to name just a few). You and your child can either make a puppet theater or buy one of the many puppet theaters offered by table, floor, door and puppet theaters. Pop-up puppets are a fun way to play peek with a child or hide. Puppets are a great way to interact and play creatively with your child.

Imaginative play is an important part of the game. Role play and disguise allow children to experience the different roles of the people watching. The toys and accessories that surround your child will allow him to identify with different characters and to try out various domestic roles. The imaginary game helps children to adapt more easily to the challenges of our daily world.

by Valerie Giles

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