Pet Grooming Salon Pretend Play Activity for Preschoolers

Set up your very own play Pet Salon using items found around the house! Kids love playing groomer to their favorite stuffed pets with this fun activity.

I'm so excited to have the first activity in the A-Z of Pretend Play Activities Blog Hop hosted by my friend Nicola at Crafty Kids at Home! Of course we picked A for Animals because my boys love everything to do with animals. They love taking care of their real pets but our dogs and cat are not always up for a full grooming by two 3 year olds... so I decided to set up a pretend grooming salon for their favorite stuffed animals.

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You can find pretty much everything you need to set up your pretend pet salon at home, especially if you already have pets! If not, you can improvise with things from around the house (after all, that's what imaginative play is all about).

Our set up included:
  • Stuffed animals
  • Clear plastic bin for a wash tub
  • Box of grooming supplies: combs, brushes, nail files. I used our dogs' brushes but you can certainly use human ones. If you do have a dog, this is my absolute favorite brush, just FYI. 
  • Towels
  • Bucket of collars. If you don't have a few extras, the dollar store is perfect to grab a couple of cheap collars. Cat collars work especially well on stuffed animals.
  • Clothes. Doll clothes work great!
  • Empty shampoo bottles or spray bottles. You can even put a little Febreeze in a spray bottle if your animals need a little freshening up.
 Set everything out and invite your children to play!

 My little groomers got right to work. First everyone had to get into the tub for a bath.

 Then of course they need to be dried off!

After bath time, it's time for a good brushing. Even our tiger got involved in the action.

Time to put our collars on! Unbuckling and fastening dog collars is excellent fine motor practice for little fingers.

 And a day at the pet salon would not be complete without a new outfit to put on.

My boys loved playing groomer for the day! This is a really easy activity to set up and I love how it allows them to use their imaginations. It's also a wonderful exercise to practice caring for animals, especially for kids who may not have pets in the home. You can recreate this with minimal equipment, most of which you probably already have. It's become one of our favorites for pretend play!

Want another fun pretend play activity for your stuffed dogs? Try our Pretend Play Dog Eye Doctor!  And be sure to check out the rest of our pet themed activities too.

Love pretend play? Here's 40 more ideas to check out! And don't forget to check out ther rest of the A to Z of Pretend Play.

Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook and let me know!

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  1. What an awesome start to the series Laura! Thank you so much. This is just the kind of activity that my kids love to do. Freddie is obsessed with dogs (yet hates them i real life!) and this would be perfect to set up to groom his growing collection of dogs and puppies.

    1. Thank you! We had so much fun with it, and the set up was so easy. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series!

  2. What an adorable activity! Both of my kids would love it!

  3. My daughter would love this one! She's always using our dogs' brushes and collars for her own stuffed pets, lol!

  4. Adorable!! My girls love exactly this kind of pretend play, even at age 6!

    1. Thanks! Don't you love seeing their imaginations even as they get older? :)

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  6. This is a great idea! My children love dramatic play and puppies, so this is a great activity for them.

  7. Great idea! I think my kids would want to groom their actual puppies though after doing this once...eek! :-)

    1. Yes, mine definitely want to do that too! They are very good helpers when it comes to feeding and giving cookies though and that seems to work.

  8. What a great activity! My daughter will love this! She's very much into caring for her stuffed toys as 'pets' at the moment, so I can only imagine how excited she'll be when I set this up for her one day. Thanks for a lovely idea. And thanks for sharing at Toddler Fun Friday :)

  9. This looks like so much fun! We've washed our babies, but I love all of the opportunities available with the pet shop set up - we may have to do our own soon!

  10. Great idea! Way better than another trip to build a bear!!

  11. So cute! I'm a children's book author and wrote a kit-in-a-book on this topic called Teddy Bear Doctor. It's super cute with lots of forms to pull out, crafts to make, plus Band-aid stickers. Check it out


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