Pretend play ideas for kids at home

Pretend play ideas for kids to play at home

Summer is knocking at the door, and for Florida, that means it’s already HOT. I’m making a list of activities we can do in the afternoon when the hot sun chases us inside.

But I feel that I should start this off with a full disclosure! I do not spend my whole day playing with my kids and thoughtfully planning creative activities. Sometimes I plan fun things, but of course, I also have work to do and don’t particularly enjoy dropping cars off cardboard ramps for long periods of time. Just thought I should put that out there in case someone is feeling bad about their parent/kid quality time like I do sometimes after reading blogs!

That said, here is my pretend play list for the summer to get those little imaginations going:

Pretend games to play with kids at home - pirates

Hoist the sails.

Put scarves on your heads and pretend to be pirates. The ottoman or couch can be your vessel that sails the seven seas. Be sure to look out for whales and sharks on your wavy ride.


Pretend games to play with kids at home - grocery store

Stock up.

Set up a little grocery store and let them put items in their bag or cart. They’ll need to pay for it of course, even if it’s with imaginary money from their wallet or purse.


Pretend games to play with kids at home - veterinarian

Call the doctor.

Play veterinarian. Bandage up stuffed animals and give them all their shots.


Pretend games to play with kids at home - camping

Take a hike.

Make a tent with a blanket and gather your camping gear. We packed a toy fishing rod, kid binoculars, toy pan, and … We hiked around the house and saw some wild stuffed animals, went fishing in the rug pond, fried up our fish in the pillow fire, and spent the night under the imaginary stars.


Pretend games to play with kids at home - restaurant

Order up.

Create your own restaurant. I was the customer and my boys were the chefs/waiters. Their dishes were very, um … creative!


Pretend games to play with kids at home - strike up the band

Strike up the band.

Get out all your instruments or even just pots and pans. Put on a funny hat, play some music and jam out, man.


More pretend play games to try

  • fire fighters
  • animals in the zoo or circus
  • super heroes
  • bus driver
  • mail carrier
  • safari

By the way, I did not include all the pretend games we tried. For example, I would not recommend throwing your couch cushions on the floor and pretending it’s a pool. Every time I turned around for the next week all the cushions would be on the floor. Amateur move.

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