Your Child may now start to develop the ability to role-play and can imagine things that are not present at the scene. This allows your little actor to act as a chef in the kitchen or the parent of a tiny baby doll.
By the time your baby is around 18 months old, they begin to mimic everyday situations and act out a simple make-believe play, assigning an imaginary role to an object — for example, feeding a doll. This important milestone helps children to develop problem-solving, imagination, and language skills. By putting themselves in other people’s shoes, children also begin to learn about the concept of empathy and how it must feel to be someone else.
How to support this development
Pretend play is entertaining to watch, but it is even more fun to participate in. Let Your Child be the initiator and dream up a fun scenario you both can act out together. You can provide a ‘prop box’ with toys that mimic real-life objects — such as kitchenware or a medical kit with doctor’s tools. Baby dolls, puppets, or a small kitchen setup are other great ideas to inspire Your Child to get started.
Note: All children develop differently and at their own pace. For children born preterm, the referred timeframe for achieving the various developmental milestones might be incorrect.
Source: The information and graphs about when children reach specific milestones are taken from various sources, including the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Denver Developmental Screening Test, and the State Institute of Early Childhood Research, Germany (IFP).
Ketsupa Jirakarn (Mental health specialist) (10 June 2021)