Types of play
There are various types of play children participate in
play. Children progress through a series of different types of play. Although older children participate
in all types of play at different times, infants will generally progress through the following types of play as
they mature. All types of play promote learning and are valuable experiences for
Different stages of play:
The child is completely focused on their own play activity, either unaware or uninterested in
what others may be doing around them (most common in babies 6 months to 18 months).
In this type of play, children watch other children
but don't engage in what they are doing or interact in any way (most common in young children 9 months to 18
Children gravitate to others playing but don't
participate in the play. They may copy or mimic the play activity but essentially they are playing alone (most
common in children 12 months to 2 years).
In this play children engage in play with others;
however the play is neither structured nor organised in any way (most common in children 18 months to 3
Children interact and are engaged
in an organised play scenario. They may take on a character role that has a particular behaviour with a specific
task to do (most common in children 4 years to 8 years).
In games with rules, children participate in organised teams or games where players know the rules. It could be a sports game such as soccer
or a board game such as snakes and ladders (most common for children 5 to 12 years).
All types of play are valid and promote brain
development; however more learning tends to occur when young children partake in ‘organised’ play and when older
children participate in ‘games with rules’.
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