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Updated: Apr 22

Play is important for a child's development


Types of Play



UNOCCUPIED PLAY(0-3 MONTHS) Babies or young children exploring materials around them without any sort of organization


  • It allows newborns to identify their legs, hands, arms, and feet

  • This is their first attempt to learn about their world


INDEPENDENT/SOLITARY PLAY(BIRTH TO 2 YEARS) When a child starts to play alone


  • Looking at colorful pictures in board books

  • Sorting and stacking cups

  • Playing under the play gym

  • Playing with blocks


ONLOOKER PLAY(2 YEARS) Child begins to watch and observe other children play but does not play with them


  • Watching other children play at a distance

  • Children suggest possible solutions to other children but not actively joining in on their play


PARALLEL PLAY( 2+ YEARS) When a child plays alongside or near other children but does not play with them


  • The child playing in the same area but not necessarily with the same toy


ASSOCIATIVE PLAY(3-4 YEARS) When a child starts to interact with others during play


  • The child will play on the playground equipment but all doing different activities like climbing, swinging or sliding


COOPERATIVE PLAY When children play together with shared goals


  • Playing store

  • Playing restaurant

  • Putting on a stage show

  • Playing going to the doctor

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