Role Play Ideas for Kids

Written by stacy d. cooper
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Role Play Ideas for Kids
Dress her up as a cowgirl and let her make biscuits. (little cowgirl image by Lisa Eastman from

According to the Early Childhood Research and Practice website, "research has shown some clear links between social and linguistic competence...pretense with peers may assist children's development in these areas." Basically the study is saying that role play, or children using their imaginations, can help them interact and speak better. Encourage your child to try on a different role for a few hours today.


Your daughter will love putting make-up on you and styling your hair as she pretends to be a beautician. Lay out a brush, rollers, barrettes, hair ties, nail polish, eyeshadow and lipstick. Tell her what you would like her to do for you. And when she is done, thank her for doing a great job. Don't forget to pay her for her service.

Mail Clerk

Let your child be the mail clerk. Print and cut out a variety of stamps for him to sell. Have him help you write and address letters and packages to use during the role play session. He can use a kitchen scale to weigh the letters and packages before telling you how much it will cost. Use real coins to count out the correct amount or dollar bills that require him to count out your change.

Restaurant Customer

Set up your home to look like a restaurant. Print and hang a "Mom's Diner" sign. Create a menu with prices next to each item. For example, a grilled cheese sandwich could cost 80p and a soda could cost 50 cents. Give her a small pocketbook with money in it and tell her she can only order what she can pay for. When she is done eating her meal, hand her the bill and remind her to pay her server.

Safety Patrol

Make your son the official safety patrolman of the house by giving him a fluorescent yellow vest, clipboard with paper and pencil to write up violations and a whistle. He can point out safety violations, like people not washing their hands, running around with untied shoes and stuffing their mouths with too much food, which would be a choking hazard.

I-Show Host

Let your kid dress up and pretend to host an Internet show. You can record him as he acts out different skits with his friends. Encourage him to sing, dance and talk about "important" issues, like his favourite food, bed time and activities. After he is finished, let him and his friends watch their show.


Give her a pair of gardening gloves, a shovel and packets of seeds to plant while she pretends to be a farmer for the day. After she has planted her crops, set up a booth where she can sell fresh produce like grapes, corn and eggplant. As the role-playing afternoon winds down, let her help prepare the leftover produce for dinner as you explain that farmers work long days.

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