In today’s world the first question people ask when they meet you for the first time is what is your occupation. We have a need to know what people do every day with their time. If you ask a child what their occupation is the answer is full time ‘player’. The only thing your child needs to do every day is to play. From when they wake up in the morning until they finally go to bed your child passes their time playing. Playing with toys, playing with daddy’s and mammy’s and playing with friends. Your job has now switched also, your main job is to encourage and facilitate play for your child. The most interesting thing, I think about pretend play is when I watch my son playing with his garage. He moves the cars and makes noises as he pushes them , all his cars are called Daddy for some reason! Children pass through several different phases, at the moment Conor is engaged in cars and his pretend play is almost completely focused on his garage. Through pretend play children expand and work on their social and emotional skills. Without even thinking about it children are learning to share and learning how to interact with each other. They are swapping toys with each other and learning how to take turns with each other. Emotionally they are learning to cope when things are not going their own way. They are beginning to navigate tricky situations by using and improving their language skills. Watching a child engaging in pretend play you can see how a child interprets the world around him. Their life experiences can be reflected through their play. Conor , when he is in crèche makes cups of tea for everyone, a trait I think he has picked up from his granny as she is never without a cup of tea in her hand. Encourage your child to play, surround your child with toys that facilitate play and watch how your child begins to grow and develop through the medium of play.