Dramatic Play Ideas for Infants

By Summer Decker
Infants can use toys and objects as a way to better understand their world.
Infants can use toys and objects as a way to better understand their world.

Dramatic play encourages babies and young children to use pretend play as a way to explore their world. Using tools to act things out helps infants to better understand themselves and those around them. By using props and imagination, babies can begin learning to empathize with others. Dramatic play is fun and helps to develop babies' social development. Parents and caregivers should feel free to be creative and use their own imaginations when doing dramatic play with an infant.

Puppets

Brightly colored bought or homemade puppets can be used to entertain the infant. A caregiver or parent can make the puppets talk, dance, and interact with each other. This allows the person using the puppets to be creative with what she wants to teach.

Dolls

Dolls can be a useful tool for teaching the infant through dramatic play. Objects such as toy bottles, spoons, and doll clothing can be used to show the baby how to feed and dress the infant. It is beneficial to the baby's language development to explain what is being done. For example, when putting the toy bottle in the doll's mouth, the parent may say "Now we're feeding the baby". The infant should be encouraged to participate as well.

Peek-a-Boo

Playing peek-a-boo with an infant helps him to understand the concept of object permanence. It is important that they learn that just because something or someone is not in sight does not mean that it is not there.

Cooking

Pots, pans, spoons and other safe cooking utensils can be used to teach the baby about cooking. Parents can pretend to dump something in the pan and stir it. It is best to encourage the baby to hold the spoon and imitate what the adult shows him.

Telephone

A toy telephone can be used for dramatic play. A parent or caregiver can pretend that she is talking with someone on the other end. It is a good idea to include the baby by putting the phone to his ear, too, and encouraging him to make sounds.

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals can be used to show the infant what is appropriate behavior when dealing with that specific type of animal. For example, pretending to feed or pet a toy dog will show the infant what is typical with a dog.

About the Author

Summer Decker is a childcare provider and an experienced caregiver for disabled individuals, making her areas of expertise health and wellness, specifically focusing on baby and child development. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree at Columbia College in Missouri.