In the March 2013 issue of Family Flavours, my article "Starting Off Right", talks about the importance of the early years (0-3) to a child's development. Early Child Development Expert, Kathleen Guy lists a number of factors that are crucial in those early years, one of which is pretend play. As she explains, pretend play teaches a child discipline as he engages himself with conversations and roles and nourishes his imagination.
Granted, in many times, what they are pretending might not make much sense to us adults, but it turns out that this game which can literally cost nothing but patience and time, will turn them into more productive individuals.
So, the next time your child is bored, fussy, or is looking for something to do, grab a bunch of his/her favourite toy animals, cars, dolls, etc. and pretend they are in school, going to a doctor's office or travelling on vacation. Also, what I found my two-year-old loves doing is taking empty tissue boxes, water bottles or any other recyclable material and turning them into music instruments, a farm for his animals, or even pretending that we are baking a pizza for baba! Try pretending with your child, I guarantee you will hear him/her say some of the cutest things you've heard.