toddler by the shed

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.Ahhh, 2-year-olds. This age brings an interesting set of new developments, including pretend play for toddlers. Not yet proficient with words, children start expressing themselves through imaginative play. This movement from literal to symbolic is SO astounding to me. As a former elementary school teacher, it's incredible to see cognitive development unfolding with my own children. I support their learning with – what else? – fun playtime!

How Pretend Play for Toddlers helps Development

Pretend play for toddlers helps them work out their feelings about different topics. It lets them think creatively, learn through action and begin to engage in cooperative play. Experiencing a lifestyle by acting it out can also help them understand new concepts and begin to feel empathy for other people.

What Pretend Play for Toddlers looks like in our Home

I've provided Some Boy with an arsenal of #Unplug2Play dress up costumes to rely on for his funny pantomimes. He has a pirate costume (yar!), a tool belt and a kitchen set. Miniatures such as model people and cars let him act out how people and elements interact with each other, but it's also really good for him to get in on the action with dress up play.

Living in San Diego, we have a huge military presence and he's started recognizing the uniforms of servicemen that we see out and about in the community. I went online to Costume Express and ordered him a soldier outfit to teach him about the many tasks of our armed forces!

pretend play for toddlers

He put on his little outfit and went right to work evading our nosy German Shepherd enemy forces.

toddler with straws

Some Navy Seal-style detection skills led him to discover leftover Starbucks straws deadly weapons in the back of our truck.

toddler pretending

He rode his scooter military Hum-V through our yard and conducted covert operations in our tool shed bunker.

paratrooper toddler

He practiced the delicate art of giving mom a heart attack paratrooping with Nate the General.

the importance of pretend play for toddlers - and how to get it started in your home

And like any other badass, he refused to wear his helmet.

Head on over to Costume Express to get some fun outfits for YOUR kids to beat summer boredom! You'll get free shipping for orders over $75, and if you sign up for their email program they'll send you a coupon for 15% off.

What does pretend play look like in YOUR home?