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Pretend play and dress-up encourage imaginative play

A child’s imagination is something to be encouraged and appreciated. Young children learn many skills through imagination, from independent play, interactive play, language, and cognitive skills, to name a few. Pretend play and dress up are wonderful ways to let your child dream and act out all kinds of fun adventures.

There are a wide variety of great toys available to enhance your imaginative experiences, some of which include; cooking and baking toys, fancy dress costumes, garden toys, cleaning toys, money games and banks, spy toys, tools and puppets.

Your child will likely see you preparing and cooking meals every day. There are many cooking and baking toys available that allow your child to have hours of entertainment. Some of the wonderful toys manufactured are; picnic baskets (complete with play bread, cheese, lettuce, hot dog and bread, ketchup, corn on the cob, etc.), bakery sets, plastic food sets, a wide variety of kettle sets, pots and pans, dinnerware sets (complete with plates, utensils, bowls and cups) and coffee sets. It’s easy for your child to set up their own imaginary little kitchen with ovens that actually bake cookies, mini-fridges that work, plastic refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, grills, and toasters. Small commercial markets can be purchased with plastic items from the store and cash registers, along with gumball machines and snocone machines, the list really is endless.

Dress up play is a favorite with kids of all ages, whether it’s dressing up in Daddy’s baseball uniform or having fun with Mom’s wardrobe. There is a wide variety of all kinds of costumes, masks, and accessories for kids to choose from. Costumes come in designs such as firefighter and police uniforms, doctor and vet uniforms, engineer suits, magic hats with cape and gloves, dresses, waitress suits, cherubs, devils, witches, ballerina and popular character costumes with capes and muscular breasts to name a few. You can find excellent accessories such as crowns, tiara sets, ninja swords, lightsabers, cowboy hats, wallets with keys and cell phones, medical and medical kits and magic kits. Dress up play allows your child to use their imagination in a fun way through role play and role playing adventures.

For all young outdoor landscaping enthusiasts, there are wonderful gardening tools and accessories available. Small wheelbarrows are made with plastic and metal designs (tiny metal designs look and work just as well as grown-ups), both useful for removing dirt, weeds, and gravel from the garden. Metal and plastic garden buckets, watering cans, mini garden kits (complete with mini rake, shovel and trowels), gardening aprons, gardening bags with seeds (mini rake, shovel, trowel and bucket), garden rakes, shovels and gardening gloves can also be purchased. Other adorable gardening sets include flower pots, seeds, and little fairy huts ready to plant.

Probably the only time your child will enjoy doing housework is when he is young. Most children love to help their mom or dad with cleaning and simple housework. With that said, you will find plenty of cleaning toys to keep your child busy and entertained for hours on end. Vacuums, cleaning kits (complete with broom, mops, gloves, and buckets), talking irons and ironing boards, working sewing machines, and clothes washers are some of the items that can be found.

An encouraging and fun way to help children understand how money works early on is to have them play with money and with toys and banking games. There are a variety of cash registers available with play money, fake credit cards, price scanners, price check microphones, and readers that offer learning opportunities for various skills ranging from motor, math and cognitive skills.

Today there are more spy toys available than ever. There are spy listeners (which allow children to listen in other rooms or use them as stethoscopes), detective equipment, mini keyboard transmitters that allow children to text each other, spy glasses, motion detectors with infrared sensors, spy cameras available in sunglasses or wristband styles (with real film) and walkie talkies. Spy pens come with a variety of options, from triggered motion alarms, flashlights, and magnifying glasses. Not only do these toys offer hours of entertainment, but toys like motion detectors and infrared sensors teach children basic electronic skills.

Kids love doing things around the house like mom or dad, especially anything that has to do with tools. Complete tool kits for kids are available with tool belts, tool chests, and tool boxes. You can find any tool imaginable, from saws, levels, planers, wrenches, screwdrivers, drills and hammers. Workshops (complete with tool storage containers) with workhorses and workbenches can provide the foundation for all of your child’s construction adventures. And for when your child ventures outside to work, there are mini work trucks, weed trimmers, lawn mowers, rakes, shovels, hoes, chainsaws (with sound effects), and leaf blowers to complete the job. Of course, you want to make sure they always wear their helmet.

Finally, another popular part of the simulation game is the use of puppets. Puppets can be found in hand puppets, finger puppets, toilet puppets, baby puppets, pop-up and puppet designs. Along with the puppets, there are puppet props and wonderful puppet theaters to add to the fun. There is no end to the available puppet designs of cartoon characters, fantasy (fairies, wizards), people and animals (aquatic, birds, insects, dinosaurs, dogs, farm animals, fish and frogs, to name just a few). You and your child can make a puppet theater or purchase one of the many puppet theaters offered at table, stand, entrance, and puppet theaters. Pop-up puppets are a fun way to play hide and seek with a child or hide and seek. Puppets are a great way to interact and play imaginative games with your child.

Imaginative play is an important part of the game. Role plays and costumes allow children to experiment with the different roles of the people they observe. The toys and accessories around your child will allow him to identify with different characters and try out various household roles. Pretend play helps children adapt more easily to the challenges of our everyday world.

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