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        Pretend Play | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

        When children participate in pretend play, they are developing their imaginations and language skills, exploring new ideas and roles, engaging in conversations that require problem–solving and social skills, and working on early literacy skills such as symbolic thinking. As Fred Rogers said, "Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."

        In this set of resources, we will use videos and a song from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood to focus on ways in which you can encourage and show children and families that creative pretend play is valued and important.

        Watch the videos about Pretend Play and think about how you could use them as part of the classroom activities or throughout the year. 

        Explore the topic of Pretend Play in your classroom using the Teacher Tips and Classroom Activity.

        Share the Family Activity document with the families of your students, so they can continue the conversation at home.

        Find more videos and activities from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood in our collection!

        Pretend Play | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

        At school, Teacher Harriet shows the children a cardboard box and asks them what they think it is. Daniel and Miss Elaina pretend the box is a spaceship and a jungle boat, but O the Owl just sees a big cardboard box. With a little encouragement, O learns that when you pretend, you can do anything!

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        When You Pretend, You Can Be Anything Song

        This strategy song celebrates imaginative play because, when you pretend, you can be anything! Remind kids to use their imaginations and create anything they want out of something as simple as a box.

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        When You Pretend, You Can Be Anything (Living Room) | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

        In this live-action clip, children play pretend in a living room and create couch forts, become fairies, and more!

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        Teacher Tips: Supporting Pretend Play | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

        To be successful learners, children need to develop skills in self-control, symbolic thinking, self-expression, and problem solving. Pretend play offers a fun, natural way to develop in all those areas. Here are some suggestions on how you can show children that you value their creative play.

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        Classroom Activity: Pretend Play | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

        By watching the video and talking about Pretend Play, children can be encouraged to use their imaginations and develop symbolic thinking just as Daniel and his friends do at their school.

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        Family Activity: Pretend Play | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

        Share these resources with the families of your students, so they can continue the conversation at home! Available in both English and Spanish.

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        Also Available in English | Spanish
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