Observe the child with dolls and doll items and/or kitchen and cooking items. Boys usually like babies and cooking at this age too, unless it is culturally discouraged.
If the child does not begin to play with the dolls or cooking materials independently, the adult can ask the child to make some dinner for them all. See what the child does without prompting first. If the child is shy, model an action to see if the child will start to play.
The child will typically feed the baby or pretend to cook and eat. Actions are simple sequences.
Many parents need to be encouraged to engage in dramatic play with their child. Let them know how important dramatic play is for the child’s development of imagination, social skills, and problem solving among other skills. If no older siblings are present in the family, the parent needs to be the play partner. Encourage them to act out events of the day with the child leading the way and the parent supporting the child with additional ideas—giving the baby a bath, dressing the baby, putting the baby to bed, etc.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.