Pretend Play

Pretend play is a type of imaginary and dramatic play in which a child uses one object to represent another. The transformation of reality into symbolic representations of a child’s world marks a developmental milestone. When a child takes a wooden block and imagines that it is a boat sailing across a sea, the child is engaging in pretend play and entering the world of make-believe. Pretend play is a vehicle for children to make meaning of and work to organize their experiences. During pretend play, play objects function as symbols for something the child has experienced, and they tend to evidence unconscious content. The child’s unconscious is expressed symbolically through the play itself. Because of the manifestation of the unconscious in pretend play, children ...

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