Benefits of role-play in toddlers

When I was a child, the most fun I ever had playing was ‘playing pretend’. I was just a young child having fun, little did I know that there were benefits to role-play in toddlers and children.


AD| When I was a child, the most fun I ever had playing was ‘playing pretend’. I was just a young child having fun, little did I know that there were benefits to role-play in toddlers and children. We would pretend to play shopkeepers, pretend to be a teacher, doctor, police, post-woman – all the typical stuff.

I have memories of creating a register in a notebook and making up names so I could read them out like a teacher. I had a toy post office and would make stamps and money, with a toy typewriter I would pretend to be a receptionist.

The best thing about role-playing is that it’s so much fun for kids and something they’re naturally drawn to – at the same time, it has lots of benefits!

Toddlers & Their Role Play have a fantastic selection of role-play toys that we have been exploring. But first, let’s look at the benefits of this type of play!

It’s fun and entertaining

Role play is fun for young children, they love using their imagination to copy things they’ve observed in real life and on TV shows. Because it’s fun, it’s a great way for them to stay entertained and keep their minds working while they develop different skills without even realising it. It’s much better than watching TV!

Good for their imagination

Whether playing pretend alone or with a friend, children get to use their imagination. They make up stories, and interactions and imagine different scenarios in their little world.

Good for their social skills

There are many benefits of role-playing for a child’s social skills. Children learn how to share, take turns, and be creative and imaginative. They also get an opportunity to practice empathy when they try on different roles, such as being a doctor or firefighter.

Encourages problem-solving

As children get older, their role-playing will become more complex and often be like a story. They make makeup a problem that needs overcoming, such as an accident which needs a doctor, or police. This helps them with problem-solving to help them apply appropriate actions in real-life problems.

Develops language skills

Role-Play also helps children develop their language skills as they use words like “I’m going to be the doctor!” or “I’m going to fix this car!” It’s language they wouldn’t use every day so it gives them a chance to practice and learn new vocabulary from others.

Learning how to behave

Role play is an excellent way to help children learn about new things and how to behave in certain situations. It can be used by parents or teachers to teach kids how to behave in certain scenarios, such as a restaurant or doctor’s office, or maybe even how to deal with conflict as they learn how to negotiate with others and express themselves better.

Expressing emotions

Role-play is a great way to explore and express our emotions. It helps us learn how to act in different situations, think creatively, and share our thoughts with others. One of the most frustrating things for toddlers is having BIG emotions that they can’t express or describe. During role-play, they can practice identifying and communicating these emotions to help them deal with them better.

How to role-play with your toddler

When playing with your toddler, role-playing is a great thing to introduce. Just follow their lead and interests. When they are excited about something they are more engaged, so don’t force it if they’re not interested. Just focus on having fun and the benefits described above will naturally happen.

Leo and I have been playing with his play kitchen a lot since we got it (and the food and plates). As he’s just on the brink of talking he’s enjoying trying to say the word of the food or select a certain type. I can ask him to do commands such as ‘shut the door!’ or ‘put this away’ and he will do it. He really enjoys his kitchen, he likes to sort the food out, try and balance the trays on top of each other and put them away. The kitchen fits lovely in our kitchen right next to the breakfast bar so he can play while I’m cooking.

As he gets older he will be able to play with it in more complex ways so I know it will last for years.


  1. That’s actually a great way to improve and learn. My little brother role-play a lot and it’s fun for him haha. Sometimes I do it with him lol

  2. Really enjoyed reading this! I have a two year old girl and she just loves imaginery play. She is hilarious to watch sometimes!! In all honesty, I love joining in as it wont last forever!

  3. Aw, I loved reading this post! Role-playing was something I definitely enjoyed when I was younger, mainly being a mum, postwoman and teacher 🙂 x

  4. I’ve always been told it’s great for their imagination and social skills. I don’t have any of my own but loved playing with my nieces when they were growing up. We’re a creative family so to watch them get creative with role-playing shops or anything like that was so wholesome.

  5. This was so interesting to read! Great collection of some really helpful tips. Especially the role-playing can help toddlers learn how to solve problems 🙂
    have a great day,

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