Small kids learn while they are playing. Usually kids use objects to impersonate an animal or human, sometimes objects represents other things, for instance, a kid uses a wooden branch to implicate a fishing rod, or your kids suddenly becomes the chef and makes you all kinds of gourmet dishes from toys. It's called pretend play and it builds various development skills.
Social and Emotional Skills. Pretending to be someone else teaches kids empathy and builds self-esteem. When playing with other they can learn responsibility, creative problem solving and taking turns. My daughter adores dinosaurs and plays with them all the time, it's usually the kindergarten theme, big dinosaurs bring small ones to the kindergarten, tell them that they gonna be back soon to pick them up, so they shouldn't be sad or sometimes tells that grandmother will pick them up today, because parents have a lot of work. Says hello, god bye to teachers and asks her if their kids behaved while parents where gone.
Language Skills. Quite often when you watch our kids play you can hear him or her using some words, that you didn't even know they knew, sometimes you can hear yourself speaking, I often hear my daughter telling her toys to go to their room, because they misbehaved.
Thinking Skills. It mostly covers problem solving, when pretend playing kids often face some difficulties, whether it's two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right ingredient for the meal they are preparing. Your kid calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he or she will use in every day life.
There is a variety of toys what helps to nurture the imagination. From various play foods for little chefs to all kinds of service providers toys, like car washing, repairs, beauty salon and so on. Kids also love to pretend they are doctors, policemen, firemen. Girls love love to nurture their dolls or soft toys, to drive them around in a stroller and put them to sleep in their beds.