Kids can pretend to be doctors while dressing up in a white coat and giving check-ups to their dolls. They can imagine being race car drivers while spinning their Hot Wheels across the floor, or they can make-believe they are chefs with Step2 kitchen sets, serving up plastic meals to their patrons. When kids play pretend, they are also being familiarized with the concept of jobs and responsibilities. Having fun during playtime can teach kids about different types of jobs, steer them toward career fields, and encourage them to develop talents that can be beneficial in the workforce.

Of course, not every child who aspires to be an astronaut will fly off into outer space; but playing with toy rocket ships as a kid could spark an interest that steers toward becoming an astronomer, pilot, engineer, scientist, or a sci-fi movie director when they grow up.

There are a variety of childhood play activities that are great for inspiring future careers through promoting learning and self-development while kids are simply focused on having fun:

Arts and Crafts

Artistic ability and creativity are invaluable skills in numerous fields, including advertising, animation, fashion design, and architecture. Crayola has a number of incredible products that are great for developing these talents. My daughter loves Crayola Fashion Superstar, which lets kids create clothing designs in a fashion sketchbook that can be scanned into an interactive app to be featured within activities and games.

 

Construction Play

Toys that challenge children to build things are great for developing spatial awareness, analytical thinking, and other skills useful for designers, engineers, and scientists. K’NEX, for example, lets kids build a variety of creations ranging from roller coasters to robots. There is no better way to get an understanding of how something works than by building it yourself.

Role-Play

Playing with dolls and large-scale play sets can be a great way for kids to learn about different aspects of life through imaginative play. My daughter likes Our Generation dolls because they have clothing and accessories that encourage her to imagine participating in all kinds of different activities and adventures. She enjoys pretending to be an entrepreneur selling ice cream to her collection of dolls out of Our Generation‘s food truck and has lots of fun embracing her love of animals with their Vet Clinic. She’s learning about potential careers while having a good time playing.

 

Dress up play is another great way to introduce the concept of jobs to children. Dressing up like doctors or astronauts lets kids feel like they are truly embodying that job, taking imagination to a new level.

Aeromax Toys’ Get Real Gear provides children with realistic outfits representing a variety of career fields. Get Real Gear is available in sizes that will fit toddlers up to 12 year olds, and some stuff is made for moms and dads to wear, too. Choose from a number of selections, including an astronaut jumpsuit with a space helmet, doctor’s scrubs with a lab jacket, and a chef’s smock with a baker’s hat.

STEM Play

Many of today’s best jobs are in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). A great way to get kids leaning in that direction is to provide them with toys that incorporate STEM concepts. That could be a toy like CONSTRUCTECHS, which let children build remote control vehicles or variations of tools actually used in these fields, like microscopes, designed specifically to be used by kids. My children have a blast looking at things under their WOW SCOPE from My First Lab. It has really expanded their interest in science. They are always discovering things while out and about that are brought home to look at under the microscope.