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7 Different Kinds of Play Important in Childcare

Child play is linked directly to brain development. Inherently, children are always looking for something fun to do, and research shows how important this is for growth. Through these activities, they learn to control their body, develop personal traits, and deepen their skills.

There are various stages to child play. When they grow older, these types of play will differ as they learn new skills and incorporate them into what they do. As a parent, knowing how you can incorporate this play into daily routines to stimulate your child’s growth is important.

Here are seven different kinds of play essential for your child’s growth.

  • Unoccupied Play

This kind of play is expected at a very young age. Here, it’s just about letting your toddler move about as they please. You are allowing them to explore their bodies and take in their surroundings. They are experiencing the world around them. Since everything is new for them, we let them learn at their own pace.

  • Independent Play

This stage of play allows your child to play on their own. They haven’t interacted much with other children and are left to make their fun. The temperament and personality of your child will determine what type of play this is. They could simply play silently in the corner or be rambunctious. This stage is important because it teaches your child how to entertain themselves 

  • Parallel Play

This is when multiple children play together without interacting much. They will be each doing their own thing, occasionally making a note of what the other is up to. Even though they don’t look like they are interacting with each other, this play is important as it teaches your child about awareness and paying attention. If you observe their playtime, you may find that they mimic each other’s movements from time to time.

  • Associative Play

This is similar to parallel play in that the children still play separately but are involved in the same activity (i.e., playing with the same toys). What’s notably different here is that the children would be actively conversing with each other and interacting. It is an important stage as it teaches them about cooperation, problem-solving, and sharing.

  • Competitive Play

This type of play is when children play games with defined winners and losers. They follow the rules of the game to identify a clear winner. This is the point where children start to learn about teamwork and rule-following.

  • Cooperative Play

This is one of the final stages where children compound everything they have learned over the previous stages and truly start to play together. They will share a common goal and work towards completing it. It further helps develop language, communication skills, and self-expression.

  • Physical Play

Your child will want to express themselves through physical play. Occurring at the latter stages, this is when physical exertion becomes a part of the play. This is an important stage to improve fine motor skills and have more control of their bodies.

Children learn a lot from playing and fun activities. While solo playtime is important, so is interaction with other kids. You should be involving them in activities where they can spend time with groups of kids, whether they’re attending a Kennington childcare centre or elsewhere in Australia.

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