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One of my kid’s favorite activities is pretend play and role playing.  Pretend play is not only fun, it allows your child to get creative, explore, investigate and use and develop his or her imagination.  I enjoy seeing what types of things my kids come up with when they are using their imaginations. 

Children are very observant, we don’t always notice, but they are absorbing and learning every day from everything around them and they want to be part of it.  Pretend play and role playing inspires children to make sense of their world.  It’s interesting to see my kid’s act out their perceptions of the world around them.

According to, kids start pretending between 18 to 24 months by acting out everyday actions they see people doing around them.  I noticed my toddler mimicking talking on the phone shortly after she turned 1.

There are tons of toys out there that encourage pretend play.  I became aware of Melissa and Doug toys years ago.  At first, I was under the impression that they only sold basic wooden toys and puzzles.  I quickly learned that they offer so much more than that!  Melissa and Doug has hundreds of pretend play options. 

If you are looking for pretend play toys, look no further, you are certain to find the perfect toy for your child in at least one of these six categories from Melissa and Doug.

Magnetic dress up-sets

Boys or girls can create and mix and match outfits and costumes from a variety of magnetic dress-up sets you can choose from. 


Role Pay

Role playing is said to help with children’s social development.  Melissa and Doug offers several role playing costumes and accessories.  They can dress up as a chef, doctor, maybe a firefighter, and more. 

Playsets and Kitchens

Your child can cook just like mom and dad with these play kitchens and accessories.  Combine these playsets with Melissa and Doug play food options for hours of fun.

Cleaning and Laundry

Start early and give your child some practice helping out around the house. The kid size dust, sweep and mop set is actually functional and perfect for your little helper.

Play Food

My personal favorite is the play food.  Choose from realistic fruits, veggies, desserts, grocery items, meal combinations, condiments and more.  My kids love to pretend they are pizza chefs or pretend they are running a restaurant.  I usually play the role of customer.

Animal and People Playsets

These playsets offer a variety of people and animals with multiple choices for homes and habitats.

Pretend play is not just for kids.  I encourage parents to get involved and play with your kids, it’s fun and a great bonding experience. 

Click here for all Melissa and Doug pretend play options.

What are some of your favorite pretend play activities and toys?  Share in the comments below.

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