Children need to know the difference between pretend and real. Here is one way adults can help with that. When playing pretend with your children, be sure to say things like, “I like to play pretend with you, so who will slay the pretend dragon first?” Or, “I’m done pretending now, let’s be who we really are – no more monsters allowed.”
Pretend play is like exercise for our imagination. Just like you have to exercise your muscles to be able to run a race, children need to exercise the imagination part of their brains to become creative, artistic people – which are the type of people most needed in today’s world. Pretend play is what children need to develop their imaginations. It should be encouraged as long as you tell them that it is fun but not for real.