Children love to imitate mummy and daddy's daily activities, putting all of their effort into it. For children, games are not simply a source of fun - they are in fact fundamental in enabling them to get to know themselves and their surrounding environment, from early explorations of objects to a conscious knowledge of reality.
The importance of setting a good example
Accordingly, constructing a sense of reality relies in part on the process of imitation. This is why during the second year of life, children begin to mimic the situations that they encounter on a daily basis; they begin to interpret the family environment in an imaginative way and love to imitate adult activities, choosing games that simulate the world of grown-ups.
Mummy in the kitchen preparing dinner, the mechanic who repairs daddy's car, the carpenter who restores granny and granddad's furniture - they all become irresistible examples for imitation.
Children of this age love to act out these roles - dusting the furniture in the house, straightening up little objects or watering the roses - this "work" keeps little ones busy, and watching their endearing clumsiness is entertaining for anyone to see.
These are all great stimuli for the cognitive development of the child, and help little ones to construct an image of themselves and a sense of their own identity.
Let's help them with the right toys
Toys that replicate the objects used by adults are therefore ideal at this stage, and very appealing to little ones.
At a period during which children have a heightened ability to grasp the sounds that make up language, it may be useful to provide them with bilingual toys that not only enable them to imitate grown-up activities, but also help to familiarise them with the first words of a foreign language in a fun and entertaining context.