As an adult, it may be difficult to remember the wonder and magic of toddler pretend play. Think back. Do you remember what it felt like to play like you were really the doctor caring for your favorite doll or stuffed animal? Maybe you were the fireman saving the day or the teacher teaching all your stuffed friends their ABC’s. Either way, you used your imagination to take the real-life moments you experienced and make them your own through play. So how do you encourage this kind of imaginative play with your own young children?
Understanding Toddler Pretend Play
At this point in development, your toddler can pretend that a banana is a phone or another ordinary toy is something other than what it was actually built to do. Using an object to represent something else is an essential part of developing your young child’s ability to use symbolic thinking. Using a spoon like a wand will eventually translate to understanding letters and numbers are symbols of sounds and values we use in everyday conversation and daily activities. So the next time your child hands you a large block to answer as a phone, dial the number and have a fantastic conversation with your child who is on their block in the other room. It’s building essential tools for the next level of development.
If you want to learn more about your child’s development and what to expect, please contact our team of child development specialists at Speech Source Therapy, Inc. at SFV: (818) 788-4121 or LA: (213) 493-6698.