At three, my daughter’s imagination is really taking flight.
She’s constantly exploring her environment and surroundings and asking countless questions. Her curiosity often leads the way as she seeks more and more complex games and ways to solve problems.
For toddlers, play isn’t simply about “fun and games.” It’s essential to their development. It’s how they learn to make sense of the world, to communicate, and to build social skills.
Pretend play allows young children to safely explore the various roles that are modeled for them. Sometimes I’ll overhear my daughter putting her toys in time out or scolding them for some unknown transgression. And while it’s tempting to laugh at the sight of a teddy bear in the naughty chair, I know that there’s more going on beneath the surface of my daughter’s games.
Encouraging pretend play is am important task of parenting. Here are 10 simple ways to encourage your 3-year-old’s imagination, and to help her build skills she’ll need as she gets older.
Here’s to happy playing!
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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Lead Photo Credit: Jenni from the Block/Flickr