Children Build Skills While They Pretend

posted 2/22/21 -- If you were asked to name the best toy ever, what would you say? A Barbie doll? Nintendo? A Cabbage Patch Kid? In 2011, Wired magazine put out their list of the “5 Best Toys of All Time.”

The list contained, in order: a stick, a box, string, cardboard tubes and dirt.

At first this seems like some sort of a joke. Why would an electronics magazine select these ordinary objects? Think about it. All of these items can become other things.

A stick can be the oar to your box that becomes a boat, while the cardboard tube makes a great telescope. Another stick and some string make a great fishing pole!

The best part? They can become different things when this game is over.

According to Scholastic magazine, pretend play involves using an object to represent something else by giving it action and motion. In doing so, your child is building language, problem solving and social-emotional skills. These skills all lead to future academic success, so pretend play should be encouraged in every household.

The best way to do this is to create a prop box for your child. It doesn’t have to be full of expensive items, just start off with some of the items listed by Wired. You can also add such things as clothing, hats, shoes, cooking and eating utensils, and old books and magazines.

Don’t forget writing utensils! Your child can be encouraged to create signs, menus or anything else that goes along with their pretend play.

Don’t forget to add yourself, but let your child be the boss. Pretend play also builds those important leadership skills.