6 Fresh Pretend Play Ideas for Both Girls and Boys

Nurture your child's imagination and have FUN with this list of pretend play ideas.
By Bekki Lindner
Mar 06, 2016




Mar 06, 2016

Do you find that you’re constantly relying on a handful of ideas when it comes to your children’s playtime? Well you’re in luck! These six pretend play ideas are perfect for reinvigorating your kids’ imagination. As your children role-plays these six careers, they may discover new passions or abilities and learn more about their likes and dislikes. Who knows? You may have a brilliant young chef or budding artist living right in your home!

1. Chef
Get out your play food and plastic dishes, or better yet – let your little learner follow a recipe with you in the kitchen. No play food or low on ingredients? No problem! Set out a variety of pots, pans, measuring cups, and mixing utensils and allow your child to whip up a batch of pretend gumbo or a tray of pretend snickerdoodles.

2. Architect/Interior Designer
Let your child take the lead and design a building or room you’ve always dreamed of! Pretend to be a client and tell her that you’re looking for a three-story home, a new barn, a city park, a fancy living room, etc.  then turn her creativity loose! Gather your child’s blocks, Legos, or paper and art supplies to design her room or structure.

3. Veterinarian
Pull out all of the plush animals you can find, along with items from a play doctor kit or things like cotton swabs/balls, pet grooming supplies, etc. Have your child give the stuffed kitten a check-up, check the stuffed turtle’s sore foot, and make sure the pony isn’t running a temperature!

4. Circus Performer
Have your child practice juggling with rolled socks, balloons, or beanbags. Draw a chalk line and let your child be a “tightrope walker.” Have your child practice juggling with scarves, balloons, or beanbags. Help her “clown” around.. She could even put on a pair of your shoes and dot her nose with some lipstick!

5. Painter
Set up an easel in the backyard or by the window, simply take out their paint set, and let your children paint what they see. Set up a bowl of fruit and let them try their hands at a still-life. Pose for your children and allow them to paint your portrait.

Or maybe they’d like to play house painter instead? Simply take a bucket of water and a paint brush outside, and have them “paint” using the water.

6. Flight Crew
Get the whole family involved and take a pretend flight. Your kids can check makeshift tickets, stow empty suitcases, or join the passengers sitting in a row of chairs. One child can be the pilot announcing flight information to the passengers. Another could be the flight attendant giving safety information and caring for your in-flight needs (blanket anyone?). You could even serve beverages, snacks, and show an “in-flight” movie.

Have another pretend play idea your kids love? Join the conversation on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page or tweet me @chasingsupermom.

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