Playsets prompt pretend play, which helps kids learn

When kids let their imaginations unspool inside an outdoor playset, friends become pirates, super heroes, nurses and spies. Playhouses become castles and cockpits and swings become jungle vines and trapezes when kids give objects action and motion. But pretend play is not as simple as it seems.

By pretending to be different characters, your child learns empathy for others. Role playing can also help develop language skills. If a child does a perfect imitation of Mom, she is learning the power of inflection and language. A new role also presents problems for children to solve. Here’s a look at other skills pretend play develops from Parent & Child magazine: