Have you noticed a bit of pretend play going on in your house? Toward the end of a child’s second year, toddlers are pretending in a variety of ways. They feed their stuffed animals (or pretend to feed you!). They pretend to talk to Grandma on the phone and sometimes even wait for her to answer! Plain objects like wooden blocks become cars, houses or mountains. Moving from functional play (a ball is rolled and otherwise used as a ball) to pretend or dramatic play is a big step for young children. It means that children can use objects symbolically—above and beyond their functional uses.