You live around the kids; you may have seen a child talking on a phone (a fake call) many times. Why do they do this? Because kids love to pretend play. They often play with pretend toys, creating roles for people, creating a script, and then asking others to follow along. But is it normal for a 4-year-old to pretend to be someone else?
Is it normal for a 4-year-old boy to pretend to be someone else?
It is normal (in fact, good) for a 4-year-old to pretend to be someone else because, at this age, kids love to explore other roles. Strong imagination is an essential part of human brain development at this point.
Pretending to be someone else; be a human character, an animal, a professional, or a fictional character, your child can become anything to explore, learn and play.
If your 4-year-old is pretending a lot and imagining many things, it’s a sign that he is very intelligent and his brain is developing healthily.
Why do 4-year-olds pretend to be someone else?
At age 4, kids have a strong imagination. They will see a superhero on the TV and then pretend to be that they are “that superhero.”
Preschoolers are very curious about the world. They want to explore many other roles and want to interact with people in many ways. This is why they love to pretend play, listen to stories and create art.
My own 4-year-old daughter loves to pretend to be a baby. Yes, she likes other roles too, like a princess, an animal, or a policeman. But most of the time, she likes to be a baby and wants me to treat her as if she is very little and cannot stand or talk.
Should I encourage pretend play?
Yes, you should encourage your child to pretend play by getting her such toys and participating with her.
If your 4-year-old wants to pretend to be his Uncle, let him explore the relationship between uncle and nephew. If he wants to be a superhero, let him be, he is learning empathy by helping others as a superhero.
Your child explores different relationships and values by pretending to be someone else.
Similarly, if your child is becoming a puppy, a cat, or a cartoon character, let him explore.
If it makes you concerned about why your 4-year-old is pretending to be someone else (although it is totally fine), you can shift her attention toward other characters. Like a doctor, a chef, a guest, or anything like that.
I will suggest some great pretend play toys that my 4-year-old daughter loves.
Benefits of pretend play:
Pretend play (also called imaginative play, fantasy play, or dramatic play) is a healthy part of a child’s brain development.
There are many benefits of this time of play, including:
- Enhanced creativity
- Social development
- Learning about the world
- Building self-confidence
- Improved language skills/ communication
- Physical activity
- Make more friends
How to encourage pretend play?
You can encourage pretend play by exposing your child to various characters.
For example, get her a variety of pretend play toys like a doctor kit, shopkeeper set, play kitchens, cleaning set, or tool kit, etc.
You should also participate sometimes so that you know how your child loves to play. You can also teach your child many things using pretend play; for example, I used imaginative play to potty train my girl (using two dolls and a toy toilet).
Be patient and ask your little doctor to check up and prescribe medicine. You can teach your child the use of medical equipment like a thermometer is used to check the temperature.
Similarly, be a student and ask your child to teach your ABCs. Or become a guest to teach your 4-year-old how to deal with a guest.
This way, you can encourage pretend play to make your child learn even more.
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The list of my favorite pretend play toys for 4-year-olds?
Here are some “cool pretend play toy ideas” that your little “actor” will love.
This set is great for teaching your 4-year-old how to use medical instruments. The set includes Doctor Bag, Stethoscope Doll Play Set
Blood pressure Cuff, Otoscope, Syringe, Thermometer, Bandage, Clipboard, Pencil & Chart.
This doctor set is even better as it includes more things;
- play stethoscope,
- blood pressure cuff,
- hearing tester,
- rolling forehead thermometer,
- reflex hammer,
- eye cover,
- tongue depressors,
- ID badge,
- activity cards
Your little one will learn to clean the house. He might even start helping you with the household chores with the help of this housekeeping set.
A school playset where the kids can play teacher. The set includes:
- Teacher Workbook
- Handwriting Notebook
- 4 mini classroom posters
- student ids and library cards,
- hall pass
- Winner of Oppenheim Platinum Best Toy Award
It is normal for a 4-year-old to pretend to be someone else. Kids are so much into pretend play at this age. Your little one may change roles frequently. You should encourage pretend play by being involved with the child and getting him his favorite roleplay toys.
By pretending to be someone else (person), your child is learning relationships between people or exploring different visions.
However, If you think that your child is having other behavioral issues too, apart from pretending to be someone else all the time; its best to see a doctor.