Role Play Toys: Why Pretend Play is a Real Priority in Childhood

As adults, when we think of “playing,” we think of activities that are fun but not necessarily productive. If it’s not working toward our day-to-day responsibilities, we see it as a luxury that we can spend time on when our schedules allow it. For kids, on the other hand, play is a crucial part of their full-time jobs: developing into healthy, happy, capable adults.

Playing is how kids learn about the world and develop their essential skills, but without a doubt, some types of play are more beneficial than others. Good old-fashioned role play, as opposed to today’s tech-heavy, light-flashing toys, can actually help your child develop and grow. 

Why Role Play is Critical for Child Development

While role playing, kids mimic a variety of behaviors, activities, and scenarios they’ve seen. This allows them to develop many skills and qualities they wouldn’t learn from a more passive type of playing.

First, role play aids a child’s cognitive development. They often run into problems during the activity and must use their problem-solving skills to work around it. They also use their imagination to come up with creative scenarios. All this strengthens their growing minds.

Second, kids learn life skills in the process of role playing. They may have seen you cook, clean, shop, or work. By acting out those tasks instead of merely watching them, kids more fully learn how to do them for themselves and lay the foundation for future learning.

Third, social development is a key part of role playing. Kids might interact with real or imagined people while role playing, and this allows them to practice empathy and appropriate, kind ways of interacting.

Fourth, role play helps kids with language development. Whether they’re mimicking real words they’ve heard or they haven’t yet reached that phase of their development, they’re getting practice in controlling their mouths and vocal cords to create sounds and words.

Fifth, kids use and strengthen their motor skills while role playing. They’re practicing gross motor skills like walking and standing as well as fine motor skills like using a pen or cooking utensils. The more practice they get, the more control they’ll develop over those skills.

Sixth, role playing can be a terrific boost for kids’ confidence and self-esteem. They accomplish tasks and solve problems in the course of their play, which gives them a stronger sense of pride and self-worth.

Last but not least, role playing can be a terrific way for kids to bond with their parents when the parents play with them. It establishes a closer and more interactive relationship between them at an early age, and those early years are critical bonding times for kids and their parents. 

Top Role Play Wooden Toys for Kids

To give your kids all the benefits of frequent role playing, you need to start with the right toys. Wooden toys in particular, as opposed to technology-focused toys, allow kids to exercise their creativity and enjoy all the cognitive, social, and developmental advantages of role playing.

Ready to start building your child a healthier toy box? Start with these top choices.

Barber Set

Kids love watching and mimicking their parents and other adults they look up to. If they’ve watched their dad or older brother shave, spray cologne, or get a haircut, they may want to join in too with a wooden barber kit that lets them play-act every part of the essential barber chair experience.


Toy Garage

Especially for kids who are around vehicles often or perhaps have parents who work with cars, garages are fun role play opportunities. This wooden garage features multiple levels with stop signs and cars kids can manipulate as they choose, as well as a helicopter and helicopter pad for some added excitement.



Makeup Set

Just as some kids idolize their fathers getting a “grown-up haircut” and a shave, others love watching their moms put on makeup. A wooden play makeup kit has everything from brushes to eyeshadow palettes, letting kids get in on the fun without any messes or potentially harmful chemicals and dyes.


Stacking Rings Set

Stackable rings are among the most tried-and-true toys for kids and babies. They allow kids to develop fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and even color coordination while having fun with a puzzle too. A wooden stacking rings set is a durable and safe option.

Stacking Rings Little Dutch


Doll Feeding Set

Mimicking childcare is a terrific role play activity for kids. It teaches them empathy, gentleness, and kindness toward others while also letting them play-act as the parents they love and look up to so much. Try this wooden doll feeding set for kids who enjoy accessing their nurturing side.


Wooden ABC Blocks

Kids’ minds are adaptable and pliable when they’re young, allowing them to learn new things quickly. For that reason, giving your kids early exposure to letters and words can lay a helpful foundation for their future reading skills. A set of wooden ABC blocks is a simple toy that starts this process at a young age.


Tambourine and Drums

Music is particularly beneficial for kids because it accesses parts of their minds that few other activities access, giving them a jump on their cognitive development. Of course, they have fun with it too. A wooden tambourine drum or Drum lets them play with making their own music.


Shopping Trolley

When kids role-play, they mimic what they’ve seen, and that often includes the shopping trips they’ve taken with their parents. A play shopping trolley lets kids step into your shoes while also giving new walkers a helpful way to stabilize as they solidify those walking skills.

 Play shopping trolley

Giving Your Kids the Advantages of Role Play Toys

Kids have incredibly creative imaginations, and we’ve all seen them turn simple items like boxes into fun toys. Still, giving kids a healthy stock of role play toys encourages them and helps them to have fun with more role play scenarios. They don’t only have fun, they boost their all-around development and enjoy a happier, healthier bond with you too. To expand your child’s collection, shop our wooden role play toys online.


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