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Detective Pretend Play Activities

Your little one will be solving mysteries in no time with this fun detective pretend play printable.

Read on to see different ways to use it.

Detective Pretend Play Activities

This article may contain affiliate links to products that may help you when homeschooling preschool.

Why Play Pretend

When your little ones play detective, they are challenging themselves to think in unconventional ways to solve a problem.

This will be helpful when your littles run into a problem, and the first thing they try doesn’t work.

Hopefully, their problem-solving skills will carry over to help them think through the problem they are having.

Pretend play extends beyond playing make-believe.

It helps littles to act out their emotions, role play, make choices, be creative, and to help them think about other people’s perspectives other than their own.

New vocabulary about the pretend play the children are doing is also introduced.

This detective pretend play set comes with vocabulary cards.

If you are looking for some ideas for pretend play, check out our post all about dramatic play themes.

We also have some ideas for how to set up a pretend play area.

Detective Pretend Play Activities

How to Use a Detective Pretend Play Set

Themed Units

If you are doing a mystery or detective-themed unit, you can add this detective pretend play set into your dramatic play area.

This will help to bring your theme to life when your little one can be a detective.

If you have a magnifying glass, it would be the perfect addition to a detective pretend play area.

Problem Solving Practice

Set up a mystery with clues and have your little one look around.

Use the detective pretend play set to help your little ones to keep track of the information they have collected.

Maybe someone took the last cookie from the pantry.

Can your little one use clues to figure out who took it?

Shoe prints, a crumb trail, and interviewing who was home are only the start.

Detective Pretend Play Activities

Learn about Fingerprints

The detective pretend play set comes with hand and fingerprint sheets.

Use a stamp pad to put ink on your preschooler’s fingers.

Put her fingers down on the fingerprint sheet.

Compare the fingerprint types on the bottom of the Fingerprint Forensics page to see what kind of prints your preschooler has.

Have her look at all of her prints to see if they all have the same pattern.

You can also take prints on different people to see if everyone has the same pattern.


Use the footprint and shoe prints to play a matching game.

Cut the matching prints apart.

Mix up the prints and keep them all face-up.

Sort them into different piles to start.

Footprints in one pile and shoe prints in a second pile.

From there, have your little detective look closely at the prints to figure out which prints match together.

For a challenge, place the prints facing down and see if your little one can find the match to the prints. Take turns flipping over two cards.

Your little one may even want to check out the prints the shoes in your house make!

Detective Pretend Play Activities

Where to Find the Detective Play Set

You can find the detective pretend play set in the Freebies Library.

If you are already signed up, enter the password, and you will be able to download the freebie.

If you aren’t signed up, it’s FREE!

Click here to sign up.

Detective Pretend Play Activities

Dramatic Play Set

Dramatic play helps preschoolers develop in many ways.

By having different dramatic play themes or units, you can expose your little one to a variety of settings, professions, and real-world problems.

This detective pretend play set can be used in many different ways to help stretch the fun (and the paper and ink used to print it).


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