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what level of pretend play is your under 2 doing?


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#1 PandoBox

Posted 08 July 2019 - 01:34 PM

At mothers group a few of the tots in this age group are playing with kitchens and pretend cooking, pretending to be vets and hair dressers.

DD at 21m is doing some basic pretend play but nowhere near on that level...Im pretty sure she doesn't even know what a VET is yet.
DD will do things like feed her baby doll or put her to sleep, she will pretend eat pretend food, drive a toy vehicle and make the corresponding sound .. she will take her toy kitten and make the cat sound and pretend that the cat is walking and playing. She will feed her pretend cat pretend food.
(we have a cat )

She has pretend play toys like a play kitchen which she ignores and just uses it for storage of her play foods, she has a tea set (not interested).


What type of pretend play are your under 2s doing/were doing?

#2 seayork2002

Posted 08 July 2019 - 01:42 PM

DS spent a lot of time 'pretending' to be good boy (I am kidding) he did spend a lot of time trying to work out how real fire extinguishers work, using anything he could pick up to pretend it was a car but then he ignored the pretend kitchens etc. and just demanded he play with the real thing

I have no idea how much 'pretend play' he did but if bending over then trying to break wind counts he did that a bit!

#3 Sweet.Pea

Posted 08 July 2019 - 01:49 PM

Try not to compare your child too much to others.

He might be more into facts than imagination. The world needs that too.

Providing he is playing and engaged in something, I wouldn't be too worried. It's thinking, just more strategic then imaginative.

#4 molinero

Posted 08 July 2019 - 02:11 PM

Your DD sounds like how mine played at that age. Around the age of 2 we still just had regular play with toys.

The random, imaginative play with more abstract concepts kicked in between 2 and 3.

#5 born.a.girl

Posted 08 July 2019 - 02:14 PM

I'd only be concerned if every single milestone was well behind the others.

My daughter crawled on her first birthday, and walked at 16 months. She'd sit there on the floor doing amazing visual arrangements with things (not that I realised).  Her first day of childcare at 14 months, and I was met at the end with comments of amazement about what she recognised in the books, and there I was a bit embarrassed that they were having to carry her around because she wasn't walking.

#6 ekbaby

Posted 08 July 2019 - 03:04 PM

Really? Those other kids sound very “advanced” (if that’s a thing) is this based on your observations or what the parents are telling you ?
My kids didn’t play like that until age 3-4
At 21 months my DD played “let’s destroy everything in the house”, climbed everything to get food/forbidden items, opened bottles and tipped out liquids, ran as far away as possible

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:30 PM

I also think it depends if a child has older siblings to copy off. DS being an only didn't start doing role playing spontaneously until he started 3 year old kinder. Until then it was instigated by myself and he would follow along.

#8 Riotproof

Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:40 PM

Have you actually seen them doing it? It sounds incredibly advanced for under 2.

Some kids really don’t like pretend play. Ds hated you’re describing. But when he built the big train tracks and etc, Thomas rescued Percy and Emily went for this and that. They develop it in their own time.

#9 Future-self

Posted 08 July 2019 - 06:18 PM

Firstly small toddlers can only pretend to be what they know exists - so sure I guess if a toddler had been to the Vet 4 times in the last few months with an unwell pet and watched and the parents talked about what the Vet was doing and why etc etc  then they could pretend to be one. Or they just love their stuffed dog and take it everywhere and look closely and poke at its shiny eyes and one day announce it’s sick so the parents describe that as “being a vet” ;)

For not two, yours has a good amount of pretend play IMO and it reflects her interest by the sounds.

#10 Lime-Polka-Dot

Posted 08 July 2019 - 06:40 PM

Everything you described sounds perfectly age appropriate OP. I wouldn't be concerned with any of that. I also wonder how much of what the others are saying is completely accurate, are you basing this on what you have seen the other children do or what their parents are telling you?

What level of involvement do the adults have in this dramatic play? If the play is largely adult led and directed and the toddler is joining in / following direction it's not quite the same as the child initiating those ideas for themselves.

#11 ERipley

Posted 08 July 2019 - 06:47 PM

I think your DD is doing enough. I would only be worried if she wasn’t engaging in pretend play at all. Unless you have other concerns that make you worry about pretend play.

#12 robhat

Posted 08 July 2019 - 07:19 PM

At your child's age, the pretend play you describe isn't expected. In fact it's a tad advanced. My kids were never really into that sort of play ever, even when older. My daughter much preferred pretend play on a small scale using a dolls house. She rarely played with the toy kitchen we had. Some kids are really into it. It does seem to be a personality thing sometimes. It's also way more common with kids who are younger in the family and have older siblings to watch and play with. Eldest kids often don't 'get' pretend play until an older age unless they do a lot of daycare or have heaps of older cousins or neighbours or something.

#13 PandoBox

Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:25 PM

Thanks everyone.

I think I was just really curious because it surprised me what I was hearing from these other mums. I don't know if its parent led or kid led..

We were talking about 2nd birthday presents and that's how we started on the topic of current toys and play...and how they were all doing more pretend type play.. so I wanted to see what others thought on the subject.

#14 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 09 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

I wouldn’t worry. She seems normal for her age. DS1 was pretend playing really early and still loves to make up complicated stories with toys and lego and things. DS2 though? Nope. Other than occasionaly pretending to be a cat (he was obsessed with cats) he really didn’t do pretend play until he was past 3. And even now he is almost 4 he doesn’t do it often, it’s just not his favourite type of games to play. He would much rather be outside playing, or building, or digging, or painting or doing active things.

#15 ainira

Posted 09 July 2019 - 05:12 PM

Are there older siblings? My DD2's level of imaginative play is far more advanced than DD1's at the same age due to being 'shown' pretend play. My DD2 would be on par with what you have described at that age; DD1 didn't really play like that until over age 3.

#16 Noodlez

Posted 09 July 2019 - 09:08 PM

My 21 month old pretend plays with dolls, she will pretend to feed them, put them to sleep and change nappies. She will also pretend play with food and pour everyone a cup of tea. She copies everything thing she sees. She is in daycare and has been in the toddler room since around 18mths so I think this has helped a lot with her development. They pretend play vets and doctors at daycare but I doubt she grasps the concept much I think at this age it’s about mimicking what’s going on it their world if you get what I mean.

#17 Dianalynch

Posted 09 July 2019 - 09:21 PM

Maybe freak the other mums out a bit for fun...

Oh yes dd is pretend playing, the other day she was hanging out in a bean bag with a pretend laptop designing pretend algorithms for google....then the next day she had the pretend laptop, calculator and share prices from the newspaper out...it seems she’s pretend playing being a hedge fund manager. Lol. What are your kids up to?

#18 Daffy2016

Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:58 AM

My DD is about the same age and doing exactly what your DD does, OP - down to using her kitchen as storage :lol:

I’m not worried at all and I suspect the mums might be indulging in a little ‘pretend play’ of their own...




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