Creative Play Ideas,  Imaginative Play

Get Creative with this Awesome Pretend Play Shoe Shop

Free Pretend Play Pack Printables

Free Printable Includes Open and Closed Signs, Sale Signs, Price Tags & Name Badge for shop workers!

Want an easy-to-set-up activity that will provide hours of fun for your toddler!

This pretend play shoe shop is a doddle to set up but has the potential to provide lots of fun learning opportunities through play.

Pretend play is a great way to develop your toddler‘s language skills, thinking skills, emotional and social skills – all that just by pretending to sell shoes!!

And what toddler doesn’t love to try on ‘grown-up’ shoes!?

How to create your designer shoe shop!

Play area

We used an IKEA Kallax Unit as a way to display our shoes – we took the boxes that normally fill the shelves and temporarily re-homed them (much to my husbands delight!!)

I then lined each shelf that my children cold reach (you’ll notice in our picture we still have our kitchen appliances at the top as there’s no way they could reach these shelves and it seemed a bit unnecessary to move them too!)

If you don’t have box shelving, then a normal shelf, or small table, or any space really will do (lining shoes up under the radiator would work just as well!)

To make your space more of a ‘display’, you could use card under each pair of shoes like we did, or fabric, or just space them out in a long line to create that shoe shop ‘feel’ – alternatively use a shoe rack if you have one!


Chose a wide selection of shoes, both children’s and grown up ones – and try and get a range from different seasons too – if it’s winter dig out the flip flops, if it’s summer find your winter boots! The more variety the more fun the trying on will be!



Print off your pretend play shop accessories onto white paper or card (you can download these at the top and bottom of this post) and cut them out – you can stick your open and closed signs back-to-back so you can just swing it around when you are closed!

Make sure you have enough labels for each pair of shoes and sale signs too (nobody’s going to be buying winter boots at full price in the height of summer!) And print off enough name badges for everyone playing who is ‘working’

Thread string/ribbon/cotton (whatever you have) through cut out holes to hang your signs up – use a hole puncher if you have one but if not carefully pierce a hole with scissors (alternatively you could use Blu tac)


As well as your display, you will need a till area – use a toy till if you have one but if not a money box of some kind will work just as well – if you’re feeling creative you could try making a till out of cardboard or even a chip and pin machine! Find some money (this will be handy for counting later!) or fake credit cards are fun too!

Find a space where customers will come to ‘pay’ – if you have’t got a lot of space this could just be set up on a small tray to the side. To make it is realistic as possible you could try and find some old shoe boxes to pack up the shoes for your customers, and have a pen and paper for making receipts!

Learning through Play

There are lots of learning opportunities when it comes to pretend play scenarios, so here are some ways you could include some extra learning through play:


With any pretend shop play, using money is a great way to encourage children to begin counting. You can also use the shoes themselves – ask how much shoes are (use simplified numbers to make this easier for little ones) – ask how many shoes there are if you buy two pairs etc. For older toddlers you could try adding up the price of two or more pairs of shoes and totalling this up on the receipt


A big part of the shoe shop experience that your toddler may already be familiar with is the measuring! Create a measuring system that is age appropriate for your child – you could draw around the feet and then either measure with a tape measure or use blocks as a scale to measure how many blocks long the foot is to determine what size shoes the person needs (this is obviously not an accurate way to measure feet but a good way to encourage counting and measuring!)

Reading & Writing / Mark making

Drawing around the foot is a fun activity for little ones, You could use this as a visual for which shoe might fit the drawing.

For older children who are learning to read and write you could encourage them to have a go at pricing the shoes, writing up receipts with the name of the person who was serving, the prices and the total price (you could make this a fill in the blank activity)

Name badges are a fun addition and give a sense of ownership! Even if your little on can’t write their name, you could see if they recognise it.

Matching game

This is a super easy game to play with the shoes and could be played as part of the set up – mix all the shoes up and pair them up ready for the shelves (or even have some in boxes in a makeshift ‘warehouse’ out the back! – You can restock every time you sell a pair!)


This activity will depend on the age of your toddler, but threading the string through the holes for the price tags is great for developing those fine motor skills and is another way to get your little one involved in the set up as well as the play 🙂

Pretend Play Shoe Shop

Imaginative Play meets the Shoe Collection!

With imaginative play anything is possible, but I love how the simplest of things (putting on a pair of shoes) can become a creative way to play and learn! Here’s a quick recap:

  • Set up your play space with a shoe ‘display’

  • Print out your signs and price tags (download link below)

  • Play away, using lots of different activities to encourage counting, reading and writing as you play!

Enjoy playing and don’t forget to download your free Play Shop Accessories down below!

Happy Shopping!

Free Pretend Play Pack Printables

Free Printable Includes Open and Closed Signs, Sale Signs, Price Tags & Name Badge for shop workers!