Stages of pretend play

Pretend play is a very important part of the developmental aspect which is very normal as well helps in enhancing the cognitive, emotional, language and social skills. Also through pretend play a child is naturally learning to solve problems, think creatively and critically.

Researchers have identified stages in pretend play, and given below is an amalgamation of a few, and these stages are observed in a typical development. Researchers like Weitzman and Greenberg, Sherri Johnson opinionated that pretend play starts by around the age of 12 months and may end up pretend playing for 5-6 hours per day.

During 12-18 months toddlers try to pretend play simple actions like sleeping, brushing or eating with real objects. Pretend play is restricted to pretending about themselves. From 18-24 months the pretend play moves from pretending on oneself to pretending with others. Children will play with toys or other adults, still using real objects for pretending at the same time making imitating adult like actions.

From 24-30 months a toddler’s language development moves past from using single words to speaking in half broken, grammatically not so correct sentences. actions that a child performs are the ones the child is very familiar with. At this point, the child is able to pretend roles by combining lots of actions like putting a baby to sleep, or imitating a cooking process. Cognitively they are able to think of not using realistic objects frequently.  30 – 36 months actions tread the path of less familiar roles and pretending is possible without the real objects and as make believe imaginary objects.

36 months on wards, children are in the preschooler stage, they socialize with other children, have complex thinking capacity, and hence they are able to pretend play in a group. Children role play on imaginary themes, use props, can scrip small dramas.

Pretend play provides for the child with a lot of opportunities to relive moments that they might have observed in their surroundings, giving them a way to vent their feelings and a sense of satisfaction.

By Dr Srividya K







Design Manager

• Support and work on design of various programs undertaken by the organization
• Develop learning content using instructional design strategies for self-learning, app-based learning and activity-based learning
• Design and develop assessment tools to track learning outcomes
• Use creative mediums such as games, art and craft, music & sound, dance & movement, and theatre as learning tools while designing content.
• Coordinate with multiple stakeholders- design consultants, graphic designer, and training manager to ensure on-time production of content and training materials.
• Oversee and administer the project / program pilots to evaluate and revise training materials
• At regular intervals, participate in field level program implementation to ensure consistency and authenticity of experience. Ensure timely feedback on the curriculum through exposure to field and iteration of design and content based on this feedback.
• Contribute to ‘best practices in innovative learning’ repository of secondary research, visits and interactions with relevant partners, collaborators and knowledge centers

QUALIFICATION – Graduate/ post graduate;

• Field experience of 2-4 years;
• Experience of working with children in education settings, health settings or community settings
• Experience of working as facilitator and or / content developer on English reading and comprehension programs would be an asset.
• Experience of using creative mediums (play, art, music, dance, etc.) and life skills approach for instructional delivery/ curriculum design would be desirable.

• English proficiency – Effective Verbal and written communication;
• Instructional design skills desirable
• Working knowledge of Kannada would be an added advantage

LOCATION: Bengaluru

Please attach your resume and address it to with subject line as the name of the position you are applying for.

Project Facilitator


• Implement the learning and well-being programs with children and youth
• Conduct regular play based learning sessions with diverse participant groups
• Monitor participant progress on a regular basis
• Implement community engagement programs in the assigned communities
• Build capacity of the staff of participating institutions through a structured process on-the-job training and coaching
• Manage and maintain stakeholder relationships by sharing information regularly regarding the program
• Track and report back to the project team on program progress leveraging defined tracking templates
• Conduct field research and community engagement activities as per program guidelines
QUALIFICATION: Graduate/ post graduate in any discipline

EXPERIENCE:;0-2 years with exposure to working with children

• English Proficiency – Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Ability to communicate in Kannada is required
• Demonstrated ability to engage in play based learning activities
• Teaching and facilitation skills
• Ability to work with groups
• Willingness to learn and explore

LOCATION: Urban and Rural Bengaluru, Rural Karnataka (Kolar and other districts)

Please attach your resume and address it to with subject line as the name of the position you are applying for.

Training Manager


• Design and develop training modules for different programs.
• Use creative mediums such as games, art & craft, music & sound, dance & movement, and theatre for delivering engaging training sessions.
• Work closely with the design manager in implementing the training plans for all programs
• Ensure timely content creation, production and organization of design and training manuals
• Support in conducting training programs of various staff members and teachers, based on the training plan
• Engage closely with the field staff to ensure timely delivery of the program content
• Shadow field staff at regular intervals to ensure appropriate delivery of programs

QUALIFICATIONS: Graduate / post graduate;

• 2-4years relevant experience
• Prior experience in the education domain would be useful;
• Experience in classroom teaching, delivering trainings and developing content are desirable and would be an added advantage.
• Experience of using creative mediums (play, art, music, dance, etc.) and life skills approach for instructional delivery/ curriculum design would be desirable.

• Ability to manage large teams; work with multiple stakeholders from diverse settings, and effective articulation of thought processes.
• English proficiency – Effective Verbal and written communication;
• Working knowledge of Kannada would be an added advantage

LOCATION: Bengaluru with frequent travel to neighbouring districts

Please attach your resume and address it to with subject line as the name of the position you are applying for.



• Design digital content for play based learning programs
• Research and identify appropriate digital content aligned to the curriculum (open source or otherwise)
• Create and manage a repository of digital apps and games used in the various sessions
• Assist in the installation of the identified digital apps onto the digital devices periodically

• Diploma / Graduate (in any discipline)
• 1-2 years with
i. Knowledge of designing digital content for learning OR
ii. Game design and development experience

• Instructional design skills desirable
• Research skills
• Candidate has to be tech savvy and updated on latest games and apps available for learning
LOCATION: Bengaluru

Please attach your resume and address it to with subject line as the name of the position you are applying for.

Vidyaabhivrudhi : Sponsor a child’s education

Vidyaabhivrudhi is a social partnership initiated by headstreams to ensure education to children from low income backgrounds.Vidyaabhivrudhi was started after headstreams observed that women took heavy loans from the Self Help Group and private money lenders during the months of April- May. This was to take care of the educational expenses of their children.The cost for one academic year was Rs. 6000 average so  headstreams encouraged the women  to save Rs. 250 – Rs. 500 separately for their children’s education rather than getting into a cycle of debt at the beginning of every academic year. headstreams provided a matching grant for the women who had saved as an incentive before the next academic year began.

headstreams supported 12 children in 2011-12, the number grew to 110 in the academic year 2012-13 and nearly 300 children have enrolled for Vidyaabhivrudhi in 2013-14.

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No health without social justice

The framework of social justice goes beyond the confines of justice and even beyond the concept of equal distribution of facilities and resources. It recognizes the inherent inequality of a system which is framed from a perspective which is far removed from people’s natural context. And it identifies itself with a perspective which is in line with people’s existing context and practices. It builds on their strengths and resources because social justice is not a quest for a better tomorrow but is a call for a healthier today.

The dominant discourse on health, views health and healthcare as alien to the body of the people, especially the ‘underclass’ or those who fall ill often, and hence seeks to “provide” its external intervention to the receiver through the mass availability of healthcare facilities and providers. Medical history is replete with stories of how the colonial rulers had to bring the army in to ensure its health campaigns like vaccination and quarantine was successful. It continues even today when local knowledge and holistic practices are discredited, shamed and silenced and a dominant system imposed on all irrespective of its relevance, availability of means to achieve health, or even the dangers of the system. The approach still emanates from the top and pushes its way down to the masses and we all chug along because if we say the emperor has no clothes, we would be forced to stitch new ones. According to my view, the view from the bottom is that the emperor has no clothes and the sooner we acknowledge it the quicker we begin on the path of social justice and health.

Tackle Tales

Stories of children and tacklers from the Tackle world while they explore and develop their capabilities through creative means and healthy social interactions.

Rural Initiatives

Our work in rural Karnataka started with flood relief in October 2009. Our relief work focused on the families who had been left out of the relief process. Other programs include the Gramaabhivrudhi Samithi, Swachha Graama and the Makkala Graama Sabha. Community mobilisation and livelihood development programs  are also actively being carried out by our aalamba team in Badami.



A parable of three daughters – aalamba

A mother had three daughters. She was poor and her daughters were always hungry. The first daughter was upset that they did not have enough food to eat, and hoped that some opportunity would come her way to get some food. The second daughter felt angry that they did not have food while those around her had plenty to eat. She began thinking of ways in which she could get some of the food that others had (through hook or crook – whatever worked). The third daughter also looked around her and found that others had enough to eat. But the hook or crook method didn’t appeal to her. She set out to explore how the others had such abundance of food. She thought , if they could have it, so could she. That was the stepping stone to the change in her life.
At aalamba, many of our participants start out as the first daughter, hoping to find any livelihood opportunity to meet their needs. They soon become like the second daughter who had the vision to look around her, but her focus was limited solely on getting a share of the food. If she got that, she was satisfied. But the third daughter made a giant leap. She was similar to the second but differentiated by her values. She was a thinker – she wanted to change her situation; a learner – she wanted to learn from other’s experiences; and a doer, she carved out a path for herself, creating value for herself and others. That is the transition our participants make – from hopelessness to being inspired to creating value.
– Naveen I. Thomas