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Table 5 Coding scheme for mother–child pretend play

From: Maternal anxiety and depression and their associations with mother–child pretend play: a longitudinal observational study

Mother Child Description Examples
Pretend play Pretend play Sound Mimic the sound of an animal Making the sound of a pig (or monkey, tiger) while holding a puppy pig (or monkey, tiger)
Mimic the sound of a vehicle Making the sound of a car while moving a toy car
Mimic the sound of a person Making the sound as if crying while at the same time smiling
Speech Suggest or narrate a pretend action “Shall we pretend they are eating?”
“This is our lunch”
Suggest or narrate a pretend property “Is it yummy?” (after play partner pretending to drink milk from an empty cup)
“This (the toy sandwich) is tasty”
Suggest or narrate an imaginary object “What’s in your cup? juice?” (the cup is empty)
“There is a monster”
Use an obviously different voice to speak Talking in a way as if it is another person speaking
Behaviour Use a puppy to act out pretend behaviour Moving puppy in a way that a clear action (e.g., eating, drinking) is acted out
Manipulate a toy to act out pretend behaviour Pour a toy teapot as if pouring tea to the cup
Use one’s toy cup to touch play partner’s toy cup as if cheering
Use one’s own body to act out pretend behaviour Moving one’s hands as if chopping/eating food
Not pretend Not pretend No clear pretend sound, speech or behaviour is observed   Putting puppy on fingers without talking or acting