Parent support and help is needed when encouraging pretend play ideas and activities. Parents can create a space for the playtime, or supply a box of materials and props to promote pretend play. Here is a list of some of the items that could encourage pretend play with young children:
- Dress up materials- costumes, hats, shoes, scarves, jewelry
Items for playing school – a blackboard, eraser, pencils, chalk, books, notes, texts, table, chairs and other materials that are usually used in a classroom.
Pretend play Doctor kits containing play and artificial stethoscope, aprons, syringes, bottles, forceps, bandages, thermometer and others
Pretend play home building kits or blocks
Kitchen kits containing all those items that are used in an actual kitchen
Large plastic crates, blocks, or boxes to create an artificial room
Painting and writing tools
Phones, phone books and magazines
Garden and outdoor tools
Barbie and other types of dolls
Beauty shop materials
Note: Pretend play sessions are also possible without using the above-mentioned tools.
Playing with others and playing alone
Children can pretend play with others either at home or in a school setting. Children learn how to pretend play with other children because it provides them an opportunity to learn many new things like:
Sharing joy and sorrow apart from materials
Exploring possibilities and options
Sharing experiences with other children
Finding out solutions and improvising them
Developing motivation and success handling skills
Note: At home, children may play together or play as alone. Playing alone is a restricted adventure although it provides an opportunity for the child to self-introspect. He or she can choose and select own materials to play. Children playing alone need constant support from their parents.