Dress-ups and make believe

At around 15 months, toddlers start becoming interested in dress-ups and make-believe play.

Toddlers are interested by their world and the different roles in their community. Your toddler will mimic mannerisms they see around them, like pretending to go to work or doing the grocery shopping.

Playing with dress-ups can:

  • provide lots of opportunities to pretend
  • help your child learn new words (hat, shoes, pants)
  • learn about different people and jobs (nurse, baker, mum, dad).

Your toddler might want to play in the dress-ups by themselves, or prefer your help and for you to play with them. By following your toddler’s lead you are boosting their self-esteem and creating special bonding time with them.

Cardboard boxes are great for open-ended, imaginative play. These can be played in, used to build a fort or tunnel, or drawn on with crayons. Supporting open-ended play lets your child explore ideas and be in control of their own learning.

Image Two children laugh as they play with dressups and handed down office equipment outdoors

Published — 11 October 2016 Last updated — 02 November 2016

Want personalised tips and activities?

Complete these short questions to get personalised tips and activities to see how simple and easy it can be.

Get started
01 / 05

What is your relationship with the child?


What best describes your location?


If you had a spare moment, what would you most likely do with the child?


And finally…

Do you speak another language at home apart from English?
Are you of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent?
Does the child need additional support with their development or learning?
Now we know a little more about the content that might interest you we’ve compiled it into a handy page for you.