It’s super hot and humid in Hong Kong. Often, staying home seems like the best plan, my kids won’t sweat from head to toe or get eaten alive by mosquitoes. But being cooped up all day can be boring, what to do? Let’s Pretend!

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The Benefit of Pretend Play

Pretend play/ Imaginary play is vital for building and enhancing skills in the early years. It is beneficial to imaginative, social, and learning abilities.

  1. Enhance Imagination: Young children are able to use imagination to create different roles and ways to act situations out. When pretending, they are given the opportunity to think outside the box, and actively exploring a different world outside of reality.
    [One time, my 3 & 5 years old were playing doctor. My 5-year-old was laying down on the floor, and pretending she was delivering a baby. Then, my 3-year-old made props and costumes out of paper, toys, and her blankets, then delivered the “baby” from my 5-year-old’s tummy. I couldn’t believe the creativity used in making the costumes and props to match their play. It was awesome!]
  2.  Opportunity to Be Social: Playing with each other is a way for young children to communicate since they often lack content to have conversations with each other and are able to learn how to share and solve problems.
    [Surprisingly, when my kids are “pretend to play”, they rarely fight with each other. Both of them come up with the roles together and they help each other to fulfill their roles. Often, the role-playing involves a problem which they need to work together to solve. It is always fun to watch them!]
  3. Creates a Lasting Impression: Pretend play lets them explore and develop interests. It also allows them to internalize what they learn. For example, if they pretend to be police, they may need to know more about being a policeman. They will ask more about the police or will read books about police and then apply what they learned in the role-playing scenarios. [Since we are homeschooling, my kids are curious about what going to la local school is like. They observe others, ask questions about going to school, read books and then act out what they learned. It’s like a little project and they do it on their own. I’m sure it’s fun  for them and the gain new knowledge.]]

Related Posts:

There are so many studies, research, and articles of the advantages of pretend play. These are my favorites:

  1. The Important of Pretend Play (Parents-Raising Readers & Learners)
  2. How Dramatic Play Enhance Learning (Early Childhood News)
  3. Six Benefits of Pretend Play (Positive Parenting Connection)

Our “Chinese” Pretend Play

We have a unique opportunity for living in Hong Kong, and I want my kids to be exposed to Chinese culture, history, and language. So, we decided to take a trip to one of the most beautiful public parks, Lai Chi Kok Park, We dressed the girls up as ancient Chinese Princesses, and took photos in the Lingnan Garden.

All the costumes, jewelry, and props were brought to the park in the morning. Then, We dressed them up, and I put makeup on them while my husband set up all his photography gear. It was entertaining to watch little Chinese princesses walking along the paths, and running around the whole garden.

These are the photos taken from my husband, and here is his photography website:

  • Chinese Pretend Play 1
  • Chinese Pretend Play 2
  • Chinese Pretend Play 3
  • Chinese Pretend Play 4
  • Chinese Pretend Play 5

After that day, my 5-year-old said she had so much fun pretending to be a Chinese princess. She also told me how much she loved the Chinese buildings, bridges. and plants. She realized Chinese things looks different than the “Utah” things.

I think it was a very successful pretend play or Chinese history lesson for my kids. They were not only dressed up as ancient Chinese Princesses and played in a Chinese-like garden, but they also tried to understand how Chinese Princesses act and think, and experienced what it felt like to be an ancient Chinese Princess.


Need MORE Chinese Resources to 

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We bought our Chinese costumes online from China (for pennies on the dollar). I think in total we spent $20 dollars USD for everything. My girls still play with them, they pull them out and parade around the house as princesses. We can also dress them up again for parties, Chinese New Year, and Halloween. Below are some costumes/props that can be purchased from

You might be interested: {Ancient Chinese costumes for Girls}

You might be interested: {Anicent Chinese costumes for Boys}

You might be interested: {Anicent Chinese Accessories & Jewelry }

Other Pretend Ideas:

  1. 25 Easy Pretend Play Ideas (No Time For Flash Cards)
  2. 75 Pretend Play Ideas (Kids Activites Blog)
  3. 32 Pretend Play Printables (My Joy-Filled Life)

I hope you have enough ideas and motivation to have a couple of pretend play activities with your children.

Trust me! It is SUPER FUN!!!

What do your kids like to pretend?
Do you have any pretend ideas that I can add?
How do you prepare and clean up after pretending play?
Do you have any favorite pretend play experience you can share with everyone?

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