Bath time can be very stressful for parents, but with the proper bath toy, your baby can be happy even while bathing. Is your baby a 9-month-old? The baby bath toys discussed should be one of the essentials in your home. Although it has become hard for many to lay their hands on the very best baby bath toy for their kids, as you may know, you need a safe and cleanable toy for your kids. In this article, we will discuss in detail how you can get the best bath toy for your 9-month-old baby.
What Is Pretend Play?
Pretend play comes in many names, which include: creative play, imaginative play, fantasy play, or make‐believe play. In this play, the child uses their imagination in a role-play scenario they've seen, experienced or would love to experience. So, it's more of an open-ended, unstructured play with no rules that use educational toys in a learning mode through which the baby can learn a lot by participating.
This play would include examples such as; playing superheroes, playing 'mum and daddy,' playing dress‐ups, playing tea parties, playing with dolls, playing trucks in the sandpit, just to name a few. Typically, normally developing children should begin anytime from 11 months to 18 months, but each child has their own pace to do things.
It also starts to morph into other forms of play in older babies in the 10-12 years age group. It becomes most noticeable when children turn 4 years old because, at 4, children can enjoy playing out a scene over several days. There is no limit to this form of play, as long as the child uses their imagination, favorite toys, and sometimes props to act out that scenario.
What Psychological Theories Does Learning Through Play Have?
A) What is Vygotsky's Theory?
According to Vygotsky's theory, social interaction is central to learning. And as Vygotsky proposed, imaginative play is a leading factor in the development of a child. Broadly speaking, this is a unique and extensively influential zone in the proximal development of a child's range of developmental milestones.
Depending on what kind of interactive toy you get your baby, the best toys for 9-month-old babies help them experiment with all the different challenging skills. This then helps them acquire culturally valued competencies. In theory, Vygotsky emphasizes the concept of instructional scaffolding, which allows the learned people to build connections based on their social interactions.
B) What Is Piaget's Theory On Play?
According to Piaget's theory, learning through play might appear as a simple notion, but it carries such profound meaning to a child's life. In his theory, play is integral in developing a child's intelligence. In the play theory, he argues that as the child matures, their environment and play should encourage movement, further their cognitive skills and language.
What Are the Benefits of Imaginative Play?
Kids these days can get surprisingly busy. With school and homework, plenty who also play sports, or in clubs, tutoring, music or language lessons. But imaginative play allows the child just to take a break, let go, and just be a kid.
The benefits of this play don't just stop there. Experts firmly believe that this kind of play does a lot for the child's development. It helps improve their social, language, and motor skills, boosting their problem-solving abilities and creativity. And most importantly, you also keep them active in a way that makes them happy.
a) Social Skills Development
Social skills can be a little challenging to grasp. However, kids have a natural way of relating and connecting as they play. Through interaction with other kids, they learn to take turns, share, and even work together. As the child engages in imaginary play, they begin to understand basic concepts such as relationships.
In this play, babies can explore social boundaries, which helps improve their social skills as they become more connected, self-reliant, and confident. As a result, they can build much better relationships with their peers.
b) Emotional Development
This kind of play helps foster emotional competence and empathy. During make-believe play, the child will encounter situations that need them to practice caring for others and showing empathy.
For instance, as they play doctor, they learn to be gentle, kind, and the need to help others. As your child understands their feelings and emotions, they also learn how to interact.
c) Language Skills Development
Research further confirms that this play in early childhood helps in language development. In this type of play, it's all about communication. Generally, babies love to describe and narrate all that's happening, so this kind of conversation play and play songs helps the baby learn vocabulary and language skills. In addition, using a highly supportive, high-quality play learning toy and environment can help boost the child's language development.
This play gives your child a chance to create stories, explore new ideas, and even make their own rules. As the baby starts to connect with everything around them, they incorporate what they see and have learned into their play. The opportunity to explore on their terms encourages the freedom to take risks, which are essential in their sense of independence and becoming critical thinkers.
Engaging in creativity is a form of stress-relieving activity that is instrumental to your baby's well-being. Fantasy plays allow the child to stimulate their creativity and imagination. With great imagination, the child can be anything or anyone they'd want. As a result, they're happier and even more likely to become healthy and confident adults in the long run.
f) Problem-solving Skills
Excellent problem-solving skills will require creativity. Babies love figuring things out independently, and they'll need time and space. But, through this type of play, they also develop their unique solving skills.
For instance, negotiating who plays what role or even re-enacting the real-life situations. Role-play activities for older babies help the child practice their problem-solving skills. It's also essential that you engage in fantasy plays with your child for both the fun and to bond with them.
However, also make sure that you give them the space to solve the problems in their way. This kind of space supports cognitive skills development and builds on their creative solving skills.
What Are Some Imaginative Play Ideas You Can Try With Your Kid?
- Play cooking imaginary meals- Children enjoy acting out the ordinary things they see their parents do. So you can help your little one explore the world of a chef by buying toys in the form of cooking equipment and 'ingredients.' Alternatively, you can also get a drawn-out hob for them to get creative with. It's important that you also create time to let them prepare and serve you a 'meal.' Here's where you're going to pretend that that mud pie is literally your most favorite meal.
- Play picnic and throw tea parties- You can also set up an indoor/outdoor picnic using your picnic rug, your baby's favorite toys and a few 'kitchen' props. Remember, your pinky's up at all times, and also never forget to ask whether little Teddy would like some more tea or cake. Etiquette does matter.
- Play superheroes- You and your little one can don a cape, choose your favorite action figure and then embark on the most incredible fight of all time between good and evil to try and save the world. What's even more fun is if you play the villain and let your little one defeat you. Also, you'll need to perfect your "Oh, I'm meeelllltiiing!" speech.
- Turn that box into anything- One of the benefits of this kind of play is that you don't really need any special props to play it. For instance, an ordinary large cardboard box can be converted into a house, a car or even an airplane. Just flatten it out, and there you have it- a desert island. You can start by giving your little ones a few boxes and watch to see what they do. This will help you observe and determine their interests. Then, you can jump in once they've settled on what game they want to play.
- Act out a play- This is an ideal improv activity for educational purposes. Use whatever props and fun songs you have in hand, either; puppets, action figures, hairbrushes, dolls, or boxes. You can act out a play with your toddler but let them dictate how the plot goes as you move.
- Build a city - With toys like Lego and building blocks, you can help your little one build an entire metropolitan area, and then you can run that whole town together.
- Cleaning in the house- Might not entirely be a game but, have you ever turned around while doing your household chores, only to find your little one copying you? Adults might not, but often kids are strangely fascinated by house chores. So, the next time you're planning to vacuum or mop the floor, give the child a cleaning prop so that they can follow you around like a little helper and take part.
- Exploration-With a simple magnifying glass, you and your child can go on an expedition around your home. Could that sweet wrapper be the secret key to that lost temple?
What Are The Stages of Pretend Play?
Every child is different; however, most develop along with this pattern:
- 14– 18 months- At this age, you'll notice that the play is based on everyday activities that they are familiar with
- 19– 22 months -At this stage, it is mainly based on familiar everyday activities. A good example would be when you see the child using a spoon to feed a stuffed bear
- 2– 3 years - In this stage, more emotions are included, with more verbal planning and sequencing of some actions within the same theme. You'll see multiple steps included in that play. For instance, the doll is fed using a spoon; the napkin is then used to wipe the doll's mouth and then she's given a cup of water to drink
- 3.5– 4 years- This kind of play is based on events that the child has seen or heard about but not necessarily experienced personally. You will notice the inflections in their different sounds to signify when the doll is talking. There's also more use of language. This play usually includes short-sequence activities that are time-related. You'll now see non-symbolic items become toys at this age. For instance, random blocks becoming cars and sticks becoming wands
- 5– 6 years -In this stage, you'll see the child integrate and play multiple roles, i.e., mother, father, or teacher. This is a higher level that includes multiple tones, different sounds, gestures to communicate and use of inference
And does it ever stop? Probably not. As they progress through the elementary school stage, most kids will substitute what we'd traditionally categorize in this kind of play with dolls and action figures with video games, books, sports or art. However, some kids and, if we're being honest, adults still have a desire to engage with these imaginary themes through art, creative writing, theater, etc., throughout their life.
How To Select The Best Bath Toys For 9-Month-Old Babies and Toddlers?
Getting the best toys for 9-month-old babies and toddlers is easy if you consider the following criteria before buying. They include:
The safety of the toy you are buying is very important. Most safe toys are safe to use if you strictly follow the manufacturer's guidelines. It is best to search for ones that don't retain water. Get a solid toy that is either made with open one-piece construction or those that are sealed off completely.
B) Educational Value
If you are getting a bath toy for your baby, getting ones with educational value is very important. Baby start learning from an early age, so giving them toys that aid learning is very important.
C) Sensory experience
It is important to consider the use of toys that will benefit your baby. Healthy development is aided by the use of toys that encourage sensory play. You can get a bath toy with different textures, colors, and sounds, these are some of the things to look out for when getting toys with sensory experience.
Can it be played with in just a single way? If yes, it is not the best for your kids. Look for toys that can be played with in multiple ways. Development and entertainment are guaranteed when you get a versatile bath toy.
What are the best toys for 9 month old?
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1. Infantino Splish & Splash Bath 17-Piece Bathtime Fun Set
- EXPLORE AND ENGAGE: Babies will love exploring and interacting with all the sea creatures as they discover numbers, textures, colors, squirting, catching and spinning in this entertaining bathtime set. Four fun activities including a play fishing set.
- SAFE FOR BABY: Fishing set features large, kid-friendly hooks and take-apart fish to make cleaning easy. Clean and dry all pieces after use. Toys feature no hard edges and are large enough they can't be swallowed.
- JUST RIGHT FOR LITTLE HANDS: This collection of sea-life creatures, along with a fishing pole, stacking cups and a water wand are perfectly sized for tiny fingers and hands to explore, grasp, stack, squeeze, toss and sprinkle or pour.
- DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITY: Stackable cups introduce numbers 1-8 to encourage early problem solving and support hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills through stacking. Water wand teaches the concept of gravity. Bright colors provide visual stimulation.
- DESIGNED WITH LOVE: At Infantino, we love babies, we adore kids, and we admire their moms and dads. We work hard to create products that guide development and bring joy as baby grows. Happy parents and little ones are what we are all about.
This bathtime playset, the Splish and Splash, comes in 17 bright colors and fun pieces, with 4 different engaging activities for babies. This set ranks high and is definitely one of the best toys for 9-month-old babies because it comes with several functions as a learning toy. As a stacking toy, it comes with stackable cups for babies (0+ months) and goes all the way to a fishing toy for toddlers so even they can enjoy bathtime even more
The developmental benefits include introducing babies and toddlers to the concept of gravity and the power that comes with water. These colorful pieces get the baby started on hand-eye coordination and sensory exploration and help them enjoy identifying numbers.
The pieces come in bright colors; they are multicolored and come in different textured blocks, encouraging their tactile exploration. This set also encourages gross motor skills development, making it one of the best toys for your baby or toddler.
The 4 playful squirters come in a sea life theme. The baby gets to watch as the water swirls around the Water wand and back into their tub, while the fishing fun set includes a large hook for your toddlers to fish efficiently. The stacking toy part has 8 Stack O' fun cups.
As for the cleaning and care, these are easy to wipe and clean toys. Also, note that the fish should be dismantled for easier cleaning. Overall, Infantino gives parents a smartly designed fun toy in colorful pieces that cut across ages for happier parenting. It is definitely one of the best toys for 9-month old babies and toddlers.
2. Bath Time! Bath Book
- Boynton, Sandra (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 10 Pages - 10/19/2007 (Publication Date) - Workman Publishing Company (Publisher)
The Bath Time! book isn't necessarily a toy but a bath book. It comes in a single-piece construction, which is waterproof, non-toxic and makes it perfect for babies and toddlers as they bathe before bedtime.
It is a completely baby-safe bath book by Sandra Boynton. It even floats!
This is an amazing, fun and engaging book to indulge your little one in as you give them a good scrubbing. This book tells of a simple, rhyming story, where a little painter pig needs to get all cleaned up after a pretty fun day at the easel.
On the last page, there's the pig's snout with a built-in squeaker, so you kid can press on it once they, and the little painter pig in the story, are all squeaky clean. It is recommended for kids in the ages 0–2 years.
3. Crayola Bathtub Fingerpaint 5-Color Variety Pack
- Crayola Bathtub Fingerpaint 5 Color Variety Pack, 3 Ounce Tubes (Bluetiful Blue, Screamin' Green, Radical Red, Flamingo Pink, Royal Purple)
- Make bath time fun with this 5 pack of bath tub paint.
- Colors include purple, pink, red, green, and blue.
- Cleans off easily with soap and water when instructions are followed and used on non-porous surfaces.
- Perfect for all toddlers and kids.
Kids across all ages love to color, and what more fun way to get them in the bathtub than with the promise to color. Don't worry, parents- these are washable finger paints by Crayola. You kid will definitely get a huge kick out of these.
This is definitely an excellent option for some tub-time fun. Your little one can get as messy as they please, and you'll have an easy time cleaning up after since it all washes off with soap and water and won't stain your white bathtub. It's definitely a win-win.
Each of the packs comes with 5 three-ounce tubes in a variety of bright colors—purple, yellow, red, blue, and green. With these, babies can practice developing their fine artistic masterpieces or even work on their writing or spelling.
It also helps in their sensory exploration, gross motor skills, and hand-eye coordination as an interactive toy. Many parents love this playset since it not only gets your baby excited for tub-time but also entertaining for a wide variety of ages. Overall, this little toy is one of the best toys for 9-month old babies and toddlers.
4. The First Years Stack-up Cup Toys
- Colorful Baby Toys: 8 brightly colored cups stack together with Unique Holes in the Bottom for water play
- Stacking Cups: Children love to fit toy cups together, stack them up, or turn them over and hide things underneath
- Baby Development Toys: Large numbers on the bottom to practice counting & number recognition
- Made without BPA
The First Year's stack-up cup toys come in a pack of 8 with large numbers embossed at the bottom so older babies can practice counting and develop their number recognition skills. Each cup comes with unique holes at the bottom for fun playing with water while bathing. Your baby fills them up with water and gets to watch it trickle out of the top.
The 8 stacking cups come in bright colors BPA-free plastic, which is also lead- and phthalate-free. With the holes at the bottom for some water fun, this is an amazing toy when you need to give them a little scrub. This will occupy your baby throughout their first year since it's recommended for ages 6 months going up.
Little hands will develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as they stack up the toy cups together and then run them underwater. Overall, it's one of the best toys for 9-month old babies as they grow into toddlers to help them further develop motor skills.
5. BABY LOOVI Non-toxic Foam Bath Toy
- FUN & EDUCATIONAL BATH ALPHABET! These premium-quality foam bath toys stimulate your child’s senses, making bath-time an enjoyable experience.
- FREE TOY ORGANIZER with every purchase! Playtime is fun, but unfortunately leaves a mess. Our mesh-made toy bag allows for convenient storage of all those accessories.
- EARLY LEARNING PRESCHOOL TOYS! Combining fun and education, these foam bath toys help your little one with their literacy skills, while the animal shapes stimulate their imagination
- PERFECT GIFT for boys or girls for family holidays. These educational kid’s bath toys make a great gift that can be used day after day for any holiday!
- There are not only foam letters over there, but foam puzzles too. It's certainly more effective for learning alphabet & animals. Not to mention how fun and interesting it is while you bathe your baby.
The BABY LOOVI non-toxic foam toys are designed as floating sea creatures in smooth surfaces and different textures that are great for water play and will help keep the baby entertained while you give them a good scrub. The playset comprises 16 underwater friends, who include a crab, turtle, seahorse, starfish and frog.
As one of the best toys for many babies, it's also a great educational experience for babies. What's more, the set also includes a fishing rod and mesh bag, which drains easily to prevent the growth of mold and for convenient storage. It is recommended for kids who are 3 years going up, making it one of the best toys for toddlers, who then get further to develop their fine motor skills with a sensual exploration
6. O Ball Wind' N Swim Turtle Bath Toy
- Wind up fins make turtle swim through the water
- Oball shell is easy for baby to grasp and hold
- Wind up his front flippers and watch this adorable turtle swim through the water
- Oball shell is easy for baby to grasp
The wind-up fin of the toy makes it easier for the toy to swim in water while bathing your baby. It comes with a shell that your baby can easily grasp and hold. It is BPA free making it perfect for your baby. The Oball turtle brings the perfect fun to your 9-month-old while bathing and get their hearts off crying. It has several amazing colors and very affordable for all parents. Overall, this little toy is one of the best toys for 9-month old babies as they grow into toddlers which helps them develop fine motor skills.
- Includes 2 fun characters and 2 whirly toys that spin and rattle; you may receive a turtle and penguin or duck and whale
- Each bubble helps stimulate baby's sense of sight, hearing and touch
- Textured rings move freely around the bubbles
- Bubbles float in water
- 4 plus months
This toy comes in four counts and makes bathing time perfect for your 9-month-old. This toy helps in teaching coordination of both the hand and the eye. The toy is designed in such a way that your baby can easily handle and grasp it with ease.
It can easily be dried up after use. Bubbles float in the water with textured rings moving around the bubbles easily, and it is a Mold free toy. It is definitely one of the best for 9-month old babies and toddlers because as an educational toy it helps them develop their fine motor skills.
A perfect toy designed for babies of 9 months old and above, suitable both for boy and girl. It is a 6 floating soft rubber animal water tub toy. It is perfectly safe and comes with a 100% guarantee of being harmless for your baby.
The bath toy is BPA-free and FDA approved. It has an educational advantage and the entertainment delivered is highly unmatched. The toy carries colorful animations, unique designs, and perfect sizes.
It contains Starfish, Walrus, Tortoise, Octopus, and Sharks and is definitely one of the best toys for 9-month old babies and toddlers. It is definitely one of the best toys for babies and toddlers because it helps them develop their fine motor skills as a bathtub toy.
- A Battery Operated Bath Spout That Easily Attaches and Draws Water From the Tub Without Wasting Water (Batteries Not Included).
- STEM-driven Toy That Introduces Children to Sorting, Constructing and Putting Physics into Play With Spinning Gear Movement.
- Includes 3 Interchangeable, Brightly Colored Bath Cups That Work With Spout to Create Different Water Effects for Spraying, Straining and Floating Fun.
- Easily Store the tumblers on the swivel arm to dry up and get ready for another exciting bath tomorrow.
- Promotes sensory development And Help Develop Fine Motor Skills. Designed especially for child's little hands For Easy of Use.
This Flow N Fill Spout with 3 stackable cups and the automated spout is another great toy for your 9-month-old baby. It offers a variety of options for your baby while taking his bath. Since the endless stream is created with the toy, your baby can have hours of fun-filled time both while bathing and after. Each tumbler can be used individually or stacked up together. It offers amazing developmental benefits for your baby as it promotes sensory development. In addition, your baby can easily operate and play with the toy.
- Penguin really swims through water
- Wind up arms and release to make penguin swim
- Lightweight and easy for little hands to operate
- Encourages imaginative play; Play Patterns: Audio-Visual Stimulation; Hand-Eye Coordination
- Ages 9 and above months
The swimming penguin bath toy is a great option for all kids of 6 months and above. It has a wind-up arm and release that enables the penguin to swim through water. The lightweight makes it easier for your baby to handle the toy easily. this toy also encourages imaginative play and improve your baby audio, visual, and hand-eye coordination. Perfect and safe for your baby of 9 months and above.
11. Hommate Bath Toy
This toy is suitable for toddlers and older. The toy is designed to hold water and enable your kids to lay their hands on the toy and enjoy playing with them. The toy helps them improve their creativity, interaction, imagination and motor skills.
It is safe and good for your 9-month-old since it is a BPA-free toy. It contains a waterwheel flower bath toy, a mini sprinkler, and two cups. Installation and drying after usage are very easy. Overall, it's one of the best because it also helps them develop their fine motor skills as a bathtub toy.
12. The First Year Disney Baby Bath Toy, Finding Nemo
- COLORFUL BATH TOYS FOR TODDLERS: These interactive toys visually engage toddlers
- SQUIRT TOYS: Squirting action for baby bathtime fun
- COMPACT SIZE: Easy grip for little hands
- EACH PACK CONTAINS: 3 squirt toys - Nemo, Dory and Turtle
- SUITABLE FOR: Ages 6 - 18 months
Each pack of this toy contains 3 squirt toys. They all carry colorful designs which will visually engage your baby. It has compact sizes and can easily fit into your baby's hands. The package includes Nemo, Dory, and Turtle squirt toys.
This is also highly recommended for your 9-month-old as it helps improve their coordination skills. If you want a fun-filled and happy bathing time, then the first-year Disney bath toy is an excellent option for you. Overall, it's definitely one of the best toys because it also helps them develop their fine motor skills as a bathtub toy.
13. Munchkin Baby Bath Ball
- A colorful ball that shakes, strains, rattles and rolls
- Stimulates baby's senses
- Floats on water, rolls on land
- Soft, holed top is easy to grasp
- Colors may vary, you may receive in one of the following colors: Blue, Pink or Yellow
The Munchkin Baby Bath Ball is another great option for your 9-month-old. It comes in various captivating and amazing colors. This toy keeps your baby entertained throughout the period of bathing. The design, which has a soft and holed top, makes it easier for your baby to handle the toy. The size makes it easier for the toy to float on water and also roll-on land when needed. It is best used under parent supervision.
14. iPlay, iLearn Baby Bath Toy
- 8 Piece Bath Toy Set w/ Storage Basket – Includes: 1 swimming sea turtle, 1 swimming crab, 1 water spraying fish with rattle, 1 water spraying octopus and 4 ocean themed stacking cups.
- Play for Many Occasions – This toy set is great for indoor/outdoor use or anywhere water is available including: bathtubs, pools, lawns, patios, living rooms, preschools, beaches, parks, and more.
- Basic Early Education – Bath toys are not just ideal for encouraging imaginative play, they are also great for developing your little ones hand-eye coordination, fine finger skills, color recognition and cognitive processes.
- Multifunctional set in one – These baby bath toys squirt, bubble and swim making bath time a whole lot better!
- Funny Wind up Bath Toys – No batteries needed. The crab and tortoise in this set can really swim! Wind up their motors and these cute baby water toys will quickly paddle their little arms to swim forward, causing bursts of happily laughter.
This toy adds fun to tub time. The toy has been tested and declared fit and safe by CPSC. It contains seven pieces of a bath toy; the toys squirt bubbles and can float on the water making the bathing time fun time. The set includes a swimming sea turtle, water spraying fish with a rattle, water spraying octopus, and 4 ocean theme stacking cups. It provides your kids with the basic and early education they need; one thing is assured the quality is unmatched.
15. Gearroot Baby Bath Toy
This is a bubble machine bath toy that makes bubbles for toddlers while bathing. It is suitable for your 9-month-old baby and those above. It comes with three pieces of suction cups and carries the best quality. This toy is safe for kids as it is both non-toxic and BPA-free. It has no rough edge, burr and is safe for kids to play with under little or no supervision. It is one of the best gift choices for parents who need to help their kids develop motor skills.
Your baby deserves to have a happy start to life; with a bath toy, this can be accomplished. This article has discussed 10 great bath toys you can buy for your 9-month-old. We have also discussed the criteria to consider before making a purchase and how you can end up with the very best. The Munchkin baby bath ball is the most affordable of all discussed in this review. For versatility, you have several options, but the Yookidoo Baby Bath Toy is one of the best options you have. The iPlay iLearn bath toy is another great option as it offers a variety of toys for your baby. Whichever you pick from the above list, be sure that it will keep your baby entertained.
Frequently Asked Questions on Best Bath Toys For 9-Month-old Babies and Toddlers
1. What age do babies need a bath toy?
Generally, if you're not going to do it earlier, 6 months is the best time to introduce this bath toy to the baby. At 6 months, they have already developed reasonable head control, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. In addition, some may have already developed their fine motor skills to be able to grasp the objects.
2. Is there pretend play in Autistic kids?
This play is an educational activity that typically developing (TD) children, frequently and spontaneously, engage in. However, children who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to show deficits in this particular behavior.
Here are some of the symptoms of High-functioning Autism:
- Emotional sensitivity
- Fixation on a particular subject or idea
- Linguistic and motor skills oddities
- Devotion to certain routines
- Develop repetitive or restrictive habits
- Dislike for change
- Social interaction difficulty
- A problem in processing physical sensations
3. How to teach babies imaginative play?
Using these simple steps, you can always encourage this play using the 'Hanen' way.
- Sit face-to-face with the child on the floor, for example, across each other at a table
- Carefully observe your child's interests
- Make sure that you don't put out too many toys at once, since this might confuse them
- If the child doesn't know how to pretend yet, then you might just need to start the play and give them an example
- Also, imitate your child's pretend actions