One thing I remember distinctly from my psychology degree was pretend play in child development.
It’s such an important part in them understanding the world around them, replicating actions they’ve seen others take, and something we should definitely encourage as parents.
I can’t remember the age at which Ella really started pretend playing. It was definitely before her 1st birthday. I remember asking a friend to buy her a toy mobile phone for her birthday, because she loved picking up ours and saying hiya and babbling away as if she was chatting to someone.
She still loves having a pretend chat on the phone. But she’ll also now pretend to take selfies with the phone!!!
In the past few months, I’ve noticed her getting more interested in her ‘babies’ (dolls). This is perfect timing, as in a few weeks there will be a real life baby brother or sister here, and I can imagine this pretend play will only increase, copying what I’m doing with the baby with her own babies.
It’s amazing how sponge-like toddlers are! Ella is only 20 months old, but she’s picked up about feeding and winding babies. She also loves putting them to bed and giving them a kiss night night! I got a free pack the other day with baby essential bits in it, including a little bottle. Ella took it from me straight away and went and fed her babies! She loves feeding!! This is definitely something she’s picked up from nursery, as she’s in a large room there that also includes babies. And she loves soothing them too, giving them a cuddle and gently patting their backs!
I’m definitely going to encourage her to continue to pretend play, absorb the world around her and create her own reality from it. And remember to never leave in a room alone with the newborn baby!!!