Playing with your kids will do a lot in terms of development. This was further proven by Mildred Parten Newhall, a sociologist. She also made it clear that there are about six distinctive levels of play from infancy to pre-school stage. She made it known that each level of this play a different role in child’s development. Also, each level helps the child to know more about life while also learning more about her environment and people close to her.
When parents get to know much more about these types of play, it will help create a unique kind of bond between you and your kid. You will also know just how he or she loves to be treated. Overall, this will help the child develop faster and better. Below are the 6 types of play essential to children’s development:
#1. Onlooker Play
This type of play is noticed in a child when he or she is just about two to three and a half years old. Most parents tend to panic about their child’s social skills at this stage, and that is wrong. This is just a stage where the child familiarizes herself with the environment. If you see your child not running about with the other kids or socializing with them, then this is the onlooker stage. The way this helps children is that it teaches them just how to look before leaping. This also prepares the child for group play and socializing.
#2. Parallel Play
This type of play is the type you see that makes children play beside each other with the same set of toys without interacting. This is like the final stage of play that your child will have to undergo before he or she starts to connect with other children. At this stage, it is better to get them toys that can be easily shared out amongst them because they tend to fight about ownership often.
At this stage, you should focus on getting toys that are not easily destroyed, so it doesn’t lead to a rift between the two youngsters. However, the moment you notice this, you should not be worried as this means that they will soon be able to connect to people outside of your home. The type of toys that fits this stage is the ones like sticker books or sorting books.
#3. Playing Together
In this case, you have a child that is willing to play with others; that is, your kid now finds it easy to associate with other children. During this process, they all play together to get a single objective carried out. You will begin to notice this behaviour when your little one is clocking the age of three and above. At this stage, your child finds it easy to connect with other children and find their presence to be amusing.
At this level, you can now introduce a lot of artistic toys to your child’s playroom. You are however advised not to get the ones he or she can use to mess up the whole house when they are with friends. Building games or construction games that bring about creativity and creating new stuff will play an essential role in the development of your child at this level.
When your child gets a game like erector sets or Lego, it will create a bond between her and friends, and this is the result of playing together. If you are in search of toys for this level, we will recommend you go for creative toys like Goldieblox.
#4. Corporative Play
Immediately your little one gets to this stage, you will start to see traits of bonding and teamwork to achieve a single purpose. This is widely known as the last level of developmental play in young children. At this level, your child is ready for a classroom and can simply bring out various characteristics like leading, interacting, socializing, and communicating ideas effectively.
At this stage, you will see children of like age planning and working hard to make a single common objective come to reality. An example of this is when your little one agrees with other children to build a small boat or small room where they can hide when parents are looking for them.
You will see them sharing ideas and brainstorming with their little heads to make things work out for them. At this level, it is tough to come between them as they will easily trounce your effort as a parent. The kind of toys that can be recommended at this level is majorly a teamwork toy like a soccer ball.
#5. Unoccupied Play
This is a stage where your child plays with herself, and as Parten clearly stated: “this stage is when a child is not engaged in play.” At this stage, your little one will engage herself by moving their body in a way that allows them to jump. At this stage, the movement is without purpose; they just find it interesting that they can move their bodies. This level is otherwise called the infancy stage.
They are beginning to develop their own type of imagination, thinking, and movement. You will notice that they find everything amusing at this stage because they can just move freely. The smile on their faces at this level is absolutely golden. They are thrilled with whatever they get at this stage but do not try to help them with anything here. They will have fun in their own way. There is no recommended toy at this level, you can just give them any safe object to toss about, and they are simply fine.
#6. Solitary Play
At this stage, your child finds it easy to play alone and does not find whatever that is happening around amusing at the time. Your child will play alone in one corner of the house at this stage, and whatever he/she focuses on at the time is his/her best friend and toy.
This is the stage that allows the little child to come to terms with his or herself so they can have the right amount of fun when they meet other children. However they choose to play at this level is up to them, but note that it is a very crucial stage.