By the time they’re three you might well be approaching peak superhero/vehicle/dinosaur. So alongside that, we’ve got some ideas for other imaginary play scenarios. Worth noting also that the things they’re working out pretending to be super heroes (power relationships for example) are the same as playing families and schools. And dressing up is fun, whoever you pretend to be.
Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)
Is that superhero obsession kicking in? This gorgeous book shows that even the toughest men have feelings of sadness, frustration, loneliness and love.
Tough Guys hardback £11.68 Amazon
Boys love playing small world as much as girls do - it’s just they often have to do it with the much less interesting forums of the carpark or garage. A dolls’ house lets kids experiment with different personas and situations, and is a great way to learn to compromise and play together. This one also can be reconfigured inside.
Plan Toys chalet doll house £145 Amazon
Fox Applique Top
Boden is a repeat offender for hiding some of their best (completely unisex as far as I can tell) designs under girl/boy headings. Don't be afraid to shop both sections to find the winning piece. Like this excellent fox, who is neither baring teeth nor showing claws.
Nearly all children we know have had a Frozen obsession at some point. Taking on the persona of a strong woman, who has been told to hide her feelings and learns that letting people in makes things feel better sounds ok to us. There are loads of Elsa dresses - this one comes with a bracelet that projects magical snowflakes. (Added bonus: the Church of England has recently endorsed boys in princess dresses.)
Clean Scandi design and a light up hotplate. Yes, you have to put it together yourself, but it is completely customisable (see Pinterest). And literally years of having to eat a mushroom pineapple cucumber hot pot await you.