My Little Masterpiece

Five pretend play ideas to help your child’s development

Kid of all ages love pretend play, from dressing up to playing doctors, pretend games are the perfect way to let your little ones’ imaginations run wild. Here are some great ideas for pretend play that can also help your child on their journey of discovering and learning.

Five pretend play ideas to help your child’s development


So simple, such fun and the perfect way to nurture number skills from an early age. If you have a toy till and/or food then that’s great, but if not you can just use items you have around the house (as long as they’re safe for the age of your child). Take it in turns to be the shopper and the shop keeper, running items through the till or pretend scanner, adding up the total, taking the money and giving change. Pop your items in a bag and then you can start all over again with some different things you have around the house. Encourage your child to work out how much things are.


Dressing up

Whether you use costumes or just your own clothes, dressing up is a great way to get your little one’s imagination going and can be a lot of fun for everyone too. Encourage your children to create characters based on the clothes they’re wearing. They could wear your over-sized clothes and be a tiny person or put on things that are far too small and pretend they’re a giant!



This is a great way to get pre-school and school-age children engaged in learning and developing skills they’re starting to use. Take turns to be the teacher, including activities such as; spelling, counting, reading and drawing. You can have a special book each to write or draw in and use different coloured pens or stickers to mark each other’s ‘work’ and give rewards.



Make cards with pictures and names of animals on. Have each player select a card. One person has to impersonate the animal, whilst everyone else guesses. Go wild with sounds and actions, leap around and mimicking the animal. This can be a good way to get active, develop reading and recognition skills and also just have lots of fun


Chefs and bakers

Whatever age your child is, they can get involved in baking and cooking in the kitchen. Kids love to help knead dough, stir ingredients and make mixtures. Put an apron on, make a chef’s hat and have some fun. You could incorporate this game into playing pretend shop too, by ‘selling’ the things you’ve cooked and baked. This is also a good way to get little ones trying new foods, if they’ve been involved in making them.