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Babies explore objects with the five senses. Toddlers start figuring out how they work. Now, as preschoolers, they'll use toys and other objects for their intended purpose, yet also will imagine a world of other possibilities for them. A blanket thrown over a coffee table becomes a secret clubhouse. Modeling clay can be used to make pizza pies that you're asked to "taste."
For a preschooler, the world becomes a magical place without limits — and preschoolers are the masters and creators of it all. Many kids this age think they have magical powers and can battle "monsters" and win, or turn into a princess, fairy, or other whimsical creature.
Often, your preschooler will pull you into a fantasy and expect you to play along. It's also during this time that imaginary friends may "appear." This type of fantasy play is crucial to kids' development because it helps them work on their fears, anxieties, hopes, and dreams.
The world is also a stage, so expect to hear lots of "mommy, daddy, watch!" as your preschooler learns one new trick after another and seeks your approval and support for new accomplishments. The desire to connect with others extends to friends as preschoolers begin to learn the give-and-take of cooperative play and sharing.
Pretend play becomes more elaborate. Kids' knowledge of the world is more advanced, so don't be surprised if your preschooler knows exactly how to work electronic gadgets or make electrical toys (like a radio-controlled car or a video game) work.
Play itself becomes more physical. Why just walk when you can hop, jump, or skip?