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Pretend Play: Caring for Baby

Arthor holding a baby over his shoulder. They are both smiling. They are in a house with a green wall behind them.

When Arthur offers to watch Baby Kate so his parents can relax, he finds out that taking care of a baby isn’t easy — especially with D.W. around! But as he takes care of his baby sister, he learns lessons in developing self-confidence and compassion towards others. Playing pretend with a stuffed animal and doll is a great way to practice taking care of others, such as a friend or family member.

Help your child identify the many jobs they encounter that involve caregiving for babies, including daycare providers, pediatric doctors and nurses — and their own family members. Ask your child to think about things they can do that a baby can’t do yet. It’s probably a lot of things! Now ask your child to think of some ways that they can help care for a baby, such as giving the baby a bottle or entertaining the baby with a game. Play pretend with a doll or stuffed animal to let your child practice caring for a baby to support their becoming empathic and learning how to show compassion and patience for another. They may become inspired to try to help take care of a younger sibling, cousin or friend and in general feel connected to the younger child knowing that they used to be that little, too.