SRF Program

  • Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers (PPC-T)

    VEYLDF Alignment

    Item uses these practice principles: Reflective practice, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Assessment for learning and development, Integrated teaching and learning approaches, Equity and Diversity.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes, Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media, Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts, Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.


    ​The Pretend Play Developmental Checklist for Teachers (PPC-T)  provides a framework for teachers to observe the pretend play of children. It is intended to be used by teachers of children in the early years (preschool and school).

    The PPC-T is an assessment that assists teachers to understand:

    • what pretend play looks like
    • what the stages of development are
    • how to understand a child's play
    • how to report on a child's developing pretend play ability.

    The PPC-T assesses five play skills:

    • play scripts
    • sequences of play actions
    • object substitution
    • figurine play
    • role play.

    Research has shown that children who can competently and spontaneously initiate their own play within a social group tend to be more competent in oral language and have greater self-regulation and socio-emotional understanding.

    To score the PPC-T, an assessment scoring form is used to record the child's spontaneous play abilities and emerging play abilities, and to record if play skills are not observed. The child's scores across the five play skills are totalled to give teachers information on how to support a child's play and to identify children who would benefit from further support.

    Detailed Costs

    Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers (PPC-T) MANUAL: $49 (incl. GST)

    Available for purchase:

    PPC-T Assessment Scoring Form: Pack of 25: $40 (incl. GST)

    Available for purchase:

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: early childhood educators.

    Program/practice descriptions and details: this assessment enables educators to understand a child's pretend play abilities. Use of this assessment will enable educators to plan programs that support play development.

    Training requirements: a two-day workshop with three follow up Q&A sessions is available for educators who wish to learn how to use this checklist effectively. The training is not a prerequisite for using the checklist, but will support educators to develop their skills.

    Staffing: the checklist is designed for individual educator use. If educators attend the training course, services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource.

    Factors to consider: services should consider how educators could share the knowledge gained from this checklist, including in planning and skills development.

    Case studies in the manual can help educators apply knowledge gained from the checklist. 

    Australian experience: the checklist has been developed in Australia for Australian teachers.

    Priority Area

    Communication, Wellbeing (social and emotional), Access and inclusion

    Strength of Evidence