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The Various Types Of Play For Your Child's Development

by on 05/06/2023 1607

Play is not only an enjoyable activity for children, but it is also essential for their development since it promotes healthy growth. Children develop and practise essential social, cognitive, physical, and emotional abilities during various sorts of play, including creativity, imagination, and problem-solving.

The advantages of play are cumulative, meaning that children acquire abilities while having fun and playing games build on one another. Children can learn about their emotions, hobbies and how to adjust to situations by using their imaginations and "playing pretend" in safe environments.

Additionally, they have the chance to practise interacting with people and acting appropriately in various social situations while playing with one another. Let's take a closer look at the different types of play for your child's development.


Different Stages Of Play


It is important to remember that each child develops at their own pace, and there is no right or wrong way to play. Some children will backtrack during play even if the stages are linear, which is fine.


Unoccupied Play

Infants between 1 and 3 months old will engage in unoccupied play. Consider it the beginning of their adventure into worldly insight. They will examine everything around them out of curiosity and move around randomly. Even though unoccupied play may not look like play, it lays the groundwork for future growth.

It doesn't hurt to promote exploration even though infants will play unattended by themselves. For instance, you could place them on a playmat or present colourful pictures to them. Babies become more conscious of their new life through interaction with carers.


Independent / Solitary Play

Children don't focus much on their playmates in social situations from infancy until age two. They would choose to occupy themselves independently through games. At this stage of play, it will help them develop the following:

  • Sense of identity
  • Confidence
  • Independence
  • Creativity
  • Understanding of cause and effect
  • Motor abilities


Some of the following toys will help keep children entertained at this stage of play are the following:

  • Push toys
  • Drawing tools
  • Stuffed animals
  • Books
  • Musical instruments


Be sure to keep in mind that creativity is crucial for growth as you offer your child the opportunity to play however they like. It should be noted that depending on their personalities and interests, some preschoolers and older kids may still prefer independent play.


Onlooker Play

Toddlers begin onlooker play around the age of two. While not engaging oneself, this involves watching others play. Although some parents are quick to downplay the advantages of onlooker play, experts claim that it gives children the self-confidence they need to participate in the excitement. They will pick up social skills and playfulness.

Onlooker play is easy to implement into daily life since it is passive. Let your little one observe you engage in fun activities like playing the piano or solving a puzzle. It would be much better if they could watch older siblings around the house or nearby kids at the playground.


Parallel Play

Have you ever witnessed a group of children playing side by side but not together? They are parallel playing. Children won't directly communicate with their classmates despite sharing toys and imitating one another. Children between the ages of two and three frequently engage in parallel play. It shows that they are on the verge of connecting and engaging in social interactions.

Provide them with toys and activities so they can play simultaneously; children typically appreciate things such as:

  • Plush animals
  • Building blocks
  • Sticker books
  • Sandboxes
  • Playdough

You could provide several identical toys to avoid tantrums and teach them how to use the objects. Don't force children to communicate; instead, motivate them to play close to one another. They will nonetheless gain insightful knowledge on socialisation and cooperation.


Associative Play

Children start to become increasingly fascinated by other people's behaviour around the age of 3 or 4. When they play, they will start interacting with their friends, but they will still handle most tasks independently. For instance, children may sketch on the same piece of paper without discussing each other's creations or switch outfits while dressing up.

Associative play isn't very organised because youngsters won't be striving towards a common objective. Play like this promotes the following skills:

  • Cooperation
  • Language development
  • Problem-solving
  • Conflict resolution

Your child should constantly be in a social environment with others to encourage associative play. Ensure that the children have a variety of engaging toys and activities.


How To Encourage Your Child Through The Stages Of Play?

By bringing your child to playdates or enrichment classes, you can be sure that they have plenty of chances to play, grow and connect with children who are similar in age. As a result, they learn to share and develop their social skills.

Additionally, consider preschools that place an equal emphasis on academics and play for the purpose of the student's overall growth.