My 2 year old is verbally advanced and has learned brachos by hearing adults say them. He knows the correct brachos but, being 2, he has developed a game of making of his own brachos when he is playing. Sometimes in this pretend mode he say “Baruch ata … [shem hashem]..” and then “bla bla yaya dodododoo” and a whole slew of nonsense (with lots of pretend kavana).
Sometimes he’ll say shem hashem while preteneding to be “Tatty” and sometimes multiple times in a row. Sometimes he’ll say the correct bracha, but 10 times, once before each carrot stick for example.
At first we were ignoring it because he is way below the age of chinnuch for brachos as far as I understand. However, after saying shem hashem so many times, it got us thinking that it really might be a problem regarding the issur of saying shem Hashem in vain.
Also, there is the concern that we’re interfering with his learning process. One time we tried to correct him gently to say “Elokeinu” when prentending. Then the next time he was going to make a bracha on food he said “Elokeinu” instead of the proper shem, because its all the same to him in a certain sense.
What is the halacha and approach in this situation?
Your first approach was the correct one. He is not up to the age of chinuch yet , and he has no idea of what he is saying, so you can just let him do what he is doing. Don’t worry with time it will stop.