Toddlers are little sponges taking in all the information around them. They are also little parrots, parroting what we say, whether it’s appropriate or not! So it’s at this time in their lives when it’s really important not to say things you don’t want repeated and also time to watch your behavior. My kids are fascinated by the shower but I am careful not to show them my razor, as I don’t want them exploring those things without me.
As they take in all this information, they should start demonstrating the skills they are learning through pretend play (also known as imaginative play or make believe). My twins will often grab a toy phone and say “Hi Mommy Daddy”. They also like to mix with my real whisk when they see it lying in the draw. All the cute things kids do to amaze and thrill their parents
According to What To Expect When Expecting pretend play can be really good for improving language skills, creating empathy, problem solving and developing courage. Pretend play also shows that they are mastering their environment.
We recently took a trip out and the boys got to play in a store. They loaded up the cart with various food stuff. Mason just loaded up on bread and cheese, which made me think he was definitely being influenced by the Parisians
Anyway, Cameron was behind the register and they really did a great job of playing shop – Mason handed over the product and Cameron was very enthusiastic about scanning the breads and cheeses before handing them back to his brother. No money was exchanged they must have missed that step (damn they aren’t going to make it into Harvard!!)
So encourage pretend play with your children, by setting the stage and providing some props. Set some time aside and pretend to visit the doctors, go shopping, clean the house or go on the ultimate adventure in that cardboard box they are using as a car! As silly as you may feel, just remember this can help them learn to empathize with others, can help them problem solve, develop courage and improve those language skills!