When you teach young children, one of the things you hear from parents all the time is "You are so good at pretending with them, I just can't get into it." Pretend play isn't natural for many people and just because your two-year-old is dressed up like a scuba diver at dinner doesn't all of a sudden make you a master at playing along. That's OK, you don't have to be a master at it or even like it, but I do urge you to play along at least sometimes. Pretend play is an essential part of childhood. It allows children to work through anxiety, to practice skills they are not yet ready for, and to problem solve. Pretend play also offers children a chance to work on language skills, including listening and vocabulary.
The facts are clear it's important even if you find it annoying.
The good thing is you probably have a pretend play prop in your house that can make playing pretend a cinch.
Your old phone.
Any old phone will do. Kids love to pretend to make calls and it's a simple way for you to get into their pretend world without going too far out of your comfort zone.
Grab a play phone or two (I use my own usually) and strike up a conversation or just follow along. The more you do it the easier it will get and I promise you that you don't look silly!
Do you like to play pretend with your child? What stops you from jumping in? Tell us about it on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.