Does your child love role play or pretend play? My three-year-old went through an intense phase where he would play supermarkets all day (thanks to the cash register he received for Xmas), then later he played Doctors and now he plays Handyman. He will play alone but he will often ask me or his siblings to join in. This role play is valuable play and it's not something that needs adult intervention. It's deeply engaging play, I've seen my child immersed in this play for 30-40 minutes chatting away to himself while pretending to serve a customer.
As time has passed we've collected a few props for pretend play. A stethoscope for Doctor play, animal x-rays for the Vet, and a spanner for the Mechanic. After re-reading The Write Start I've added a clipboard and pencil to encourage mark making - scribbling and writing. Some of these props I've placed in baskets and trays to keep everything together, some have been left out for weeks and others we've rotated just as we rotate other toys.
"Do you need anything fixed?" Handyman or Fix-it Service play is hugely popular in our home right now.
Pretend cafe/restaurant/bakery has also been a lot of fun. We used this Pretend Play Printable Restaurant Set which is editable and comes with more downloadable materials. While we haven't gone to extremes to set up a shop front, I've found this play is engaging while using the child's vivid imagination, a lot of props aren't necessary!
This Doctor set rarely gets put away. Otto sleeps with his doll so it's not always here but it makes for a good patient when I'm not available. Seen here is the Kids Pretend Play Doctor Forms Printable.
One of our more recent additions is the Mechanic and Car Wash. Using the Pretend Car Repair Car Wash Playset for Kids. We can use a toy car (or dump truck or tractor) or pretend! This has also been useful for language development.
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