Skip to content

free standard delivery on all orders over £25

unlocking creativity and imagination with role-play toys

the world of pretend play

if you’re a parent, looking to ignite your child’s imagination, you’ve come to the right place. We explore the magic of make-believe, the incredible benefits of pretend play, the stages of development it enhances, and some popular prompts to inspire pretend play. So, grab your imagination, and get ready to explore how role play can create a world of excitement for your little ones!

let’s start with the basics – what is role-play?

pretend play is a form of imaginative play, where children take on different roles and act out scenarios, often mimicking real life situations they may encounter. children use their imaginations to create stories, scenarios, and characters, bringing their imaginary world to life. From playing postman, chef or shopkeeper to pretending to be superheroes or princesses, the possibilities are endless.

the world of pretend play
what are the benefits of role-play?

emotional development: role-play helps children to understand and manage their emotions. they can experiment with different roles and emotions, enabling them to express their feelings in a safe and controlled environment. It also enhances empathy as they step into the shoes of others, promoting understanding and compassion.

social development: through role-play, children develop essential social skills, such as communication, cooperation, negotiation and conflict resolution. they learn to play with others, share ideas, take turns and collaborate, fostering teamwork and building relationships.

cognitive development: role-play encourages problem solving, critical thinking and decision making skills. children learn to analyze situations, make choices, and consider different perspectives. they develop their memory, attention span, and ability to plan as they construct and carry out their play scenarios.

imagination and creativity: pretend play provides a space for children to explore their imagination and unleash creativity. by engaging in pretend play, they can create their own worlds, characters and narratives, developing their storytelling skills and nurturing imaginations.

confidence building: when children step into a character’s shoes and play out scenarios, they gain confidence in expressing themselves, taking risks and dealing with challenges. this boosts their self esteem and self-assurance.

de'longhi barista coffee machine
what are the stages of role play in development?

pretend play evolves as your little ones grow, reflecting their cognitive, emotional, and social development. here are the key stages:

imitative play (18-24 months): toddlers begin imitating everyday actions, such as feeding a doll or pretending to talk on a toy phone. this stage helps them understand the world as they see it and imitate the behaviors of adults.

symbolic play (2-3 years): children start using objects to represent other things. a hair dryer may become a telescope, or a bowl a drum. they engage in pretend play and create imaginative scenarios.

socio-dramatic Play (Ages 2-5): as children reach preschool age, they engage in more complex role play. they assign themselves and others roles, create stories and engage with others. They might set up a pretend shop, act out a tea party, or become ‘parents’ to their dolls (or siblings).

role-play prompts to inspire your little ones…
  1. can-do cook: set up a mini kitchen where your child can pretend to be a chef, cook meals, and serve dishes to their imaginary customers.
  2. budding barista: encourage your child to host a tea party for their favourite toys. set up a beautiful table, take orders, pour imaginary drinks and serve them to their customers, and engage in delightful conversation.
  3. dolly daycare: embrace domestic bliss by pretending to be parents, siblings, or a dolly daycare! teach them responsibility and foster empathy through family role play.
  4. super stylist: set up your very own pretend play hair salon! provide props and accessories to allow your little one to brush and style your hair
how do I encourage role-play?
  1. provide a variety of props: from miniature kitchen toys, to cash registers or cleaning sets, having a diverse selection of props enables your child to explore different roles and scenarios. remember to engage in open ended play to inspire your child’s imagination, your prized mini vacuum cleaner could be the next ghost-busting machine!
  2. join in the fun: pretend play is not just for kids! Join them in their make-believe adventures, take on different roles and engage in conversations, not only boosting their social and communication skills, but demonstrating the joy of dramatic play!
  3. create a dedicated space: Set up a dedicated area in your home for role play, this could be a playroom, bedroom, or even a corner of your living room. This designated space , filled with props, costumes or toys, will encourage them to dive into their imaginary worlds and fully immerse themselves in play.

be inspired

To parents, we offer products that support their role in play. To children, we inspire limitless imagination, which enables them to be just like them

fancy 10% off?

sign up below to be the first to hear about our super deals, competitions and brand new launches!

back to top image