I know from your article on pretend play that she must be learning that from school because she acts like a teacher. Instead of playing with her tea set like she used to, she tells the dolls to be nice and talks to them in a firm voice. Is this helping her with social skills?
She might not be interested in playing with her tea set right now because she might have played with one in her day care center earlier in the day. That doesn’t mean she’s not interested in it anymore. She’s just moving along in her play development, adding new elements and dimensions as they unfold to her, building depth and breadth to her play scenarios. I’m sure she’ll play with her tea set again, but maybe in a more elaborate way. Your daughter is also gaining social skills when she interacts with other children in her day care center and in her neighborhood. As her social experiences expand, so will her pretend play.
When you noticed that your daughter added something new to her play—even the way she used her voice—it shows you have been a keen observer of her at play. That is so important, because observation of children is the key to understanding them. By observing how your daughter plays and what she pretends, you’re learning about her world. You’re also gaining a better understanding of what she’s thinking and how she’s processing what she’s experiencing.
Here’s something to try: the next time you observe your daughter playing “teacher,” join in at an appropriate time with a related play-theme. You might pretend to be the “mommy of one of the children” in her class and ask how things are going today for your pretend child who is in the class. Or, you could pretend to be one of the “other teachers” and talk about what activities the “children” could do next. You could even invite your daughter, “the teacher,” to have some tea with you while the children in her class take a nap. The opportunities for pretend play are endless and the benefits are plentiful!
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.