The Different Forms of Play

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4. Outline the different forms play can take.

Kids play in different ways as they grow. Certain types of play are associated with, but not restricted to specific age groups.

Unoccupied play: In the early months of infancy, from birth to three months, the children seem to be making movements with no clear purpose, but this is the start of playing.

Solitary play: from three to eighteen months, babies will spend much of their time playing on their own. During solitary play, children are very busy with play and may not seem to notice other children in the same room. They are exploring their world by watching, grabbing and rattling objects. Solitary play begins in infancy and is common in toddlers. This is because of toddlers’ limited social, cognitive and physical skills. It is however, important for all ages to have some time alone to play by themselves.

Constructive play: constructive play starts early and becomes more complex as the child grows. It starts with baby putting things in their mouth to see how they feel and taste. As a toddler, children begin building with blocks, playing in sand and drawing. Constructive play allows children to explore objects and discover patterns to find what works and what does not work. Children who gain confidence manipulating objects become good at creating ideas and working with numbers and concepts.

Motor-physical play: when children run, jump and play games such as hide n seek, they are engaging in physical play. This type of play offers a chance to exercise and develop muscle strength. Physically playing with your teaches social skills, while enjoying good exercise. It also teaches them sportsmanship and taking turns and sharing.

Parallel play: from the ages of eighteen months to two years old, children begin to play alongside other children without any interaction. This parallel play provides the toddler with opportunities for role-playing such as dressing up and pretending. It also helps...
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