10 Role Play Ideas for Kids

image of a girl pretending to be a doctor with her baby doll

Kids are like sponges and love copying what their parents do. They copy how you eat, how you get dressed, how you do your hair, and more. Children can benefit from role-playing different life scenarios to learn more about the world around them, as well as important life lessons. Not only is this a learning opportunity, but it’s fun! 

The good news is that you can use whatever toys they have on hand, including dolls prams, but you don’t need all the bells and whistles for role-playing ideas. If you’re searching for role play ideas that will engage your kids and encourage them to be creative, you need to check out these role play activities for kids. 

We’ve put together a list of 10 fun role play ideas for kids and how they can use their dolls prams to learn and develop. 

1 – Cooking in the kitchen 

Your little ones have inevitably seen you cooking in the kitchen a time or two. Cooking during pretend play is just one of the fun activities on this list, and may even inspire them to cook more when they get older. 

If you already have a playset with food or kitchen equipment, that’s great. If not, you can make different foods out of cardboard or regular paper and their favourite crayons or pens. 

You can always give them non-glass dishes and utensils to use during pretend play. They can pretend they’re cooking for their family or their restaurant. The sky is the limit! 

2 – Tea party 

A tea party is a perfect role play activity to encourage your child to be social and friendly. Who wouldn’t love to gather with friends and have a great time? Your child can use toy teacups for their imaginative play and pretend to serve all their friends a cup of tea. 

You can join your little one as a guest or encourage them to role play with friends. Another great option is to let them bring all their teddies and toys to the tea party too. 

3 – Post office

Role-playing post offices may not be the first idea that comes to mind, but it’s fun and can teach children all about how letters and packages get to our homes. 

You can take extra envelopes or junk mail you have lying around and have your kid place the envelopes in mail slots. To do this, you can use cardboard to help them create different mail slots for them to pile letters into. 

Or why not get your little one to write letters and send postcards to family members and friends, and take it in turns to role-play being the postperson. 

4 – Supermarket

How many times have your kids been to the supermarket with you? Setting up a little grocery store allows them to role-play shopping and mimic what you do when you’re at the shop. 

You can help them make food items out of toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, cardboard boxes, and whatever else you can think of. A cardboard box is excellent for making a grocery cart for them to put all their items in. 

Or, if your child has a toy till at home, they can create their very own shop. Why not get creative and help them create their own fake money to use in their shop? This is a fun activity where you can get friends and family involved!

5 – Hair salon

If you’re concerned about letting your child hold scissors, don’t worry. You can still let them role-play at the hair salon without using real scissors. If they have any interactive dolls, Barbies, or stuffed animals, they can be their customers. 

As far as tools, if you’re comfortable letting them use your hair straighteners, turned off, and unplugged, of course, they can use rollers, hairbrushes, and colourful clips to style hair. Playdough scissors can’t cut anything and mimic the real tool if you have playdough in the house. 

6 – Cops and robbers

Both older and younger children love to play cops and robbers. You can make your child a police car out of a cardboard box and let them track down the robber. You can play the robber or if they have friends over, let them choose their roles. 

They can choose an item that was stolen and hide it somewhere in the house to track down using their problem-solving skills. They can even use a hula hoop to put the robber in jail once they’ve caught them.

7 – Pirate ships

An adventurous pretend play activity is for your kid to play pirate ships. They can build their pirate ship out of building blocks, cardboard boxes, or other containers you may have lying around at home. 

Hula hoops and other circular objects make the perfect steering tool for their ship, and paper towels or toilet paper tubes are great for binoculars so they can see where they’re going. They can hunt for treasure or enjoy driving their pirate ship. 

8 – Castles

Every kid dreams of being a princess or prince at least once. Playing castles during imaginative play is a great way to make their dream a reality for a brief time. They can build their castles out of toy blocks, couch cushions, and other bedding. 

They can make crowns out of paper to colour them however they want before ruling their kingdom how they see fit. It’s a great game to play with other kids or using teddies and toys as servants or other castle folks. 

9 – Vets

Being a veterinarian during imaginative play is an excellent way for kids to learn compassion for animals. Even if you have a dog or cat at home, letting them role-play how to treat and care for sick animals is a great way to do this without your pet feeling uncomfortable with the game.

Teddies make the best patients for this role-playing game. If you have any white coats, you can even let them wear them to feel more like a vet!

10 – Hospital

Similar to role-playing vets, your kids can role-play in hospitals. Kids love being doctors, nurses or patients during pretend play. If your little one wants to be a doctor, letting them treat their toy baby or dolls helps to teach kids to be compassionate towards other humans. 

If you have a doctor’s playset, this is the perfect set of toys to use for this role-playing game. They can wear a stethoscope, prescribe medicines and use their imagination to find treatments for different diseases. 

Household items kids can use when role playing

You don’t need to have all the fancy new toys for imaginative play activities. Granted, if you do, you may want to encourage them to use those in conjunction with other household items. Using household items can encourage your kids to be creative and use their imagination during pretend play. 

If you’re stumped as to what to use, here are some of the best options: 

  • Cardboard boxes: This can be used for creating vehicles, houses, and more. 
  • Toilet paper and paper towel tubes: They’re great for binoculars or circular food or beverage items. 
  • Toy baby: Toy babies make for great patients when playing in hospitals or role-playing houses. 
  • Building blocks: These can be used for virtually anything, such as building a fort or castle.
  • Hula hoops: This can be used as a steering wheel, jail cell, or forcefield. 
  • Delivery boxes: You can use delivery boxes to cut out pretend food for your kid’s grocery store or use them to build a pirate ship. 
  • Envelopes: Envelopes are perfect when playing post office. 
  • Paper plates and cups: Paper plates and cups are great for playing kitchen or for feeding a pretend patient in the hospital.
  • Couch cushions: These can be used for a hospital bed, a pirate ship, or to distinguish the castle boundaries. 
  • Bedding: Bedding is perfect for hospital sheets, building a castle, or table cloths for a tea party. 

Encourage role play with a dolls pram from Play Like Mum

At Play Like Mum, we have an endless selection of dolls prams and pushchairs as well as dolls pram accessories, such as dolls high chairs, for your little one to choose from. Shop our collection today to discover your child’s favourite new toy. 

Discover what imaginative play is and the benefits of imaginative play with our other blogs.

For more ideas on how to keep your little one’s entertained and learn key life skills along the way, take a look at some of our other guides: