If toddlers and preschoolers kept to-do lists, a typical day might look something like this:
- Give a dragon a checkup.
- Give a baby doll a bath.
- Ride a horse to India.
- Get married.
- Travel to outer space.
- Drive a dump truck.
- Run a hair salon.
- Save the world.
Early childhood—especially beginning around age two—is a time that’s especially rich with imagination. But it’s not just imaginative worlds our kids are working on: By playing the roles of heroes, nurturers, and adventurers (and anything else that catches their fancy), kids are beginning to make sense of the real world around them, and building social skills, problem-solving skills, confidence, language skills, abstract thinking, and empathy.
This week on the Melissa & Doug blog, we challenge you to add make-believe to your family’s to-do list. Offer kids a little extra time each day for pretend play, and the creative space to really explore their ideas. You can help by giving them ready-made role-play sets or homemade costumes, but the props can also be as simple as empty boxes or paper-towel rolls—kids can create incredible adventures out of almost anything. (For children interested in kitchen play, just pull out a bowl and whisk and you’re on your way!) You may be amazed at how seamlessly your kids transition from one adventure to another. (Did you even know there were killer whales in the Wild West?)
How will your family embraces make-believe this week? Send a picture of your kids in action to socialmedia@MelissaAndDoug.com. We’d love to see their imaginations at work.