• Children can learn plenty of new skills through imitation. Whilst engaging in pretend play, they act out some of the behaviours and scenarios that they have observed in their daily life. As they act out these activities or behaviors, children can develop their interests, or likes and dislikes. Given the opportunity to act out adult behaviors, a child may realize that they love certain activities and less others. 


  • It helps them to gain an understanding of relationships between people and also helps them to build social skills. When children are young, they may hold, hug, rock, and kiss one of their soft toys.  This demonstrates their understanding of relationships and interactions between adults and babies. 


  • When children get older, their pretend play becomes more in-depth and interactive on a social level. They select roles for others to play, and take turns while role-playing. This type of play helps and encourages children to understand social issues and to deal with different emotions while playing with the children and adults around them.


  • They problem solve and troubleshoot. When children act out different scenarios, it allows them to be presented with a number of issues or problems. It helps them identify problems and find suitable solutions. For example, a simple pretend play scenario such as making dinner, will allow a child to be presented with multiple problems or complications:


    • A child may imitate a problem they’ve observed their parent solve, such as getting each ingredient of the dinner ready at the same time

    • A child may imitate clearing up their playhouse, which imitates the parents doing the same within the home 

    • When playing ‘families ‘ as a game with another child, each child will need to determine who will play which person in the game. This involves communication and sharing skills.


Some fun scenarios you can help your child set up in your home:


  • Bank – you can make some pretend money out of paper and let the kids play ‘bank’


  • Grocery Store – get some tins, packets and you can use the pretend money that you made for the bank scenario game


  • Clothes shop or fashion show – bring out some of your old clothes, scarves etc and let the kids play dressing up scenarios


  • Gardener – get some small pots, some soil and some small spades or even some old cutlery from the kitchen- forks and spoons for the kids to use to play in the soil. This is wonderful for hours of fun in the fresh air playing with nature.


  • Post office – save up some old post or get some envelopes and create a post office scenario.


  • Restaurant – You can draw up some menus on some paper. Get some paper plates and create a nicely decorated table.


  • Vet – if your child has some soft toys that are animals, you can put an old white T-shirt on your child, write VET on the t’shirt, place a towel on a low table or the floor and your child can role play being a vet looking after their animals.


These are just a few ideas for children’s role play game scenarios which will help strengthen their cognitive development.