The Best Pretend Play and Dress-Up Toys (for Kids with Big Imaginations!)

Pretend play toys and playing dress-up are very important for a child’s development.

Your child learns social and emotional skills while engaging in pretend play because they are experimenting with a variety of roles in life.  They build on their language and cognitive skills and they learn how the world works.

This gift guide will give you several of the top rated items to help your child to explore and build their cognitive skills.

Image of kids in pretend play clothes

There are many options available and sometimes it is hard to sort out and know what is worth the money. That’s what we’re here for.

Here’s our guide to the best pretend play toys for kids.

Best Pretend Play and Dress-Up Toys for Kids

Pretend Backyard Grilling

Grilling is a favorite past time during the summer.  Is there anything better than a grilled hot dog? Let your child have his/her own cookout any time they’d like with this fun grilling set.  The Grillin’ Goodies will give them a variety of foods to cook up for everyone to enjoy all year long!


Doctor Role-play

Is there a doctor in the house?  There could be with these fun toys.  A doctor needs a lab coat but what fun is that without all the fun tools a doctor needs to do a full check up?  Your little one will be able to keep the entire house in tip top shape with regular check ups.


Pretend Restaurant Diner

If your child loves going out to eat at restaurants, imagine how much they would love to have their own diner at home!  This is an actual booth for two that kids can serve up their favorite foods for everyone to enjoy. Don’t forget the play set which includes money, foods, coffee, menus and more to make it feel like a real dining experience.


Pretend Play Gardening

Gardening teaches children so much.  Now they can have their own pretend garden to care for.  The wood garden allows them to work on planting and harvesting their vegetable plants.  The added kit will give them a variety of plants to care for and “watch grow”. This is a great way to spark interest in gardening that could give you a helper with watering your actual garden!


Pretend Grocery Store

It’s time to play store! Why not take it to the next level with this Melissa and Doug grocery store?  Kids can set up shop and fill it with a wide variety of foods to make their favorite dishes! Not only will they get to pretend play being a cashier, bagger, and shopper but they can also practice their counting skills.


Pretend Makeup

Girls love glam. They want to look pretty and feel grown up. Feeling glamorous is always a fun thing, even if the makeup is pretend. Carrying around a purse with your makeup is great and all, but don’t forget to have a fancy little vanity to sit at to ensure you are properly applying your makeup.


Pretend Camping

Let’s pack up and hit the road, it’s time for a camp out!  You can’t camp out without a tent! This all ties together well to give your child the best “camping” experience. They can roast s’mores over an open fire then camp out in the tent.  Even if you can’t make it to a campsite, your back yard (or even living room) can make a fantastic camping experience.


Astronaut Role-play

Dreams really do come true with this fun astronaut role play costume and spaceship tent. Kids who dream of touching the sky can pretend to be an astronaut in the space program. They can fly high on a mission from the command center and blast off into space!


Veterinarian Role-play

Caring for and about animals teaches our kids compassion and love.  Playing the role of veterinarian will allow your child to not only pretend to have an incredible career but to also help those in need and care for the sick.  These play sets allow them to dress as the veterinarian and have all the tools necessary to heal even the sickest fur animals.


Firefighter Role-play

Fire! Fire! Your child will love being able to come to the rescue in their full firefighting outfit while they speed around in their very own fire truck!  Complete with working doors and flashing LED lights, this firetruck will get the job done! Don’t worry, the truck has a working horn to make sure you know they are coming through to save the day!


Police Role-play

Children are obsessed with police officers. Dressing up in a police hat with handcuffs is super fun. You can’t be a police officer without a cool police motorcycle though, and this police bike will definitely be a hit. Kids will look cool and be ready to patrol.


Construction Worker Pretend Play

Let’s get building! This workshop is the ultimate set up to “build” anything your child desires. Fix the house or build a shelf, your child will have all the tools needed to complete a project of any size.  If you’re working with tools you don’t want to forget your safety gear, so a hard hat and safety vest are required!


Train Engineer Role-play

Choo Choo!  Trains are so much fun and being able to ride your own at any time you want is even better.  An added bonus is when you are dressed as an Engineer while you are riding around on your powered train.  The bonus for parents is this Power Wheels train is on a track so they won’t be driving into walls around the house.


Pretend Play Kitchen

Cookies and pies and cakes, oh my!  Kids will love to cook and bake up their favorite treats in this kitchen made just the right size for them.  And you can’t cook your goodies without pots and pans! Keep your perishables cold in the refrigerator, bake your cakes and mix your sauces on the stove-top, then don’t forget to wash your dishes in the sink.


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