Before you load little Eggbert or Eggberta up with all those expensive educational toys, listen up! Along with those educational toys, babies and toddlers also need play things that get their little imaginations in gear.When children play “make-believe,” they’re actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Pretend play also helps to develop their abstract thinking.
As soon as they can focus, children will reach for things and begin to explore their world. They squeeze, roll, bang and put everything into their mouth. Though we adults call it “play,” this is serious work for our little ones. Haven’t you noticed that when tiny tots get those super, big gifts on Christmas morning, they usually wind up playing with the big box it came in?
Okay. You got me. It’s July, and it’s a toasty one outside. I was hoping the image of a winter holiday would somehow make the day feel cooler. Not so much. But I digress.
A lot of the “supplies” for playing “let’s pretend” are probably somewhere in your house right now:
- Large plastic crates, cardboard blocks, or a large, empty box for creating a “home”
- Old clothes, shoes, backpacks, hats
- Cooking utensils, dishes, plastic food containers, table napkins, silk flowers
- Stuffed animals and dolls of all sizes
And if you’re looking for a baby gift that fosters make-believe, here are three great choices:
If it’s a baby boy, he’ll be imitating his Daddy, so he can imagine himself fishing with this adorable tackle box (left) that comes complete with a bait pail, bait and worm, fishing pole with Velcro, and a bobber that attaches to worm and fish!
Make-believe for baby girls often starts with dolls, and Hattie the Frog (right) is a cuddly playmate that will let her explore the world of animals while they have hours of fantasy and fun together! You can even have baby girl’s name embroidered on Hatties dress.
Earlier I mentioned cookware, dishes, utensils and stuff like that. Corner Stork Baby Gifts has this very cool Vintage Three-Piece Plate Set in its own, matching hatbox for safe-keeping. What makes this gift “just ducky” is the fact that you can give it as a newborn gift so Mom can use it at mealtime, and when baby begins to play pretend, Mom will have it tucked away and ready to play!