In the world of toys, it seems that it is a little harder to find good toys for boys that encourage a lot of pretend play and imagination. I started my career working with adults, and it wasn't until I started specializing in working with kids that I realized how important pretend play is. There are so many skills that come from pretend play. Coming up with ideas and being able to express them to others, having abstract thinking, taking on someone else's perspective, learning about emotions, learning about what motivates people to do certain things (figuring out the 'why'), thinking outside of yourself, social problem solving, etc., etc.
Last year I had a friend donate a bunch of toys to my practice, and some of my favorites have been the imaginext play sets. They have also been the favorite of my class full of boys. It's so fun when toys that bring on the imagination bring kids together and play scenarios are created. I loved just sitting back and watching the magic unfold as kids who rarely interacted with others joined the play.
Here are some of the Imaginext play sets. If anything it can give you some ideas of some pretend play scenarios you can build with your kids (even if you don't have the play set).
For other pretend play ideas, you can check out of my Pretend Play Amazon Affiliate site, it's kind of a work in progress (meaning I just add things randomly, usually while I'm blogging, so I can show pictures of what I'm talking about). In case you don't want to scroll through all of it, here's kind of a breakdown.
- Pages 1-4: Puppets
- Pages 4-8: Dress up
- Pages 9-15: Kitchen/Home/Store/Work
- Pages 16-17: Imaginext