Pretend play is the most fascinating of all of the play forms. It takes up a huge proportion of young children’s time and it builds skills in many essential developmental areas. Importantly it also fosters children’s self-regulated learning.
It becomes a fundamental form of intellectual activity as children learn to play with ideas and begin to wonder. It begins around 14 months as babies learn that one thing can stand for another. It develops simply with children recreating what they know and experience in everyday life and becomes increasingly complex. Group and co-operative play can become very skilful and imaginative as pretend worlds are created.