The different stages of play development

Stages of play development: When talking about stages of play, there are many lines of thinking or theories to explain what should appear according to the different age groups.


Even though some theories are far more specific than others in their classification, at the end of the day, they all talk about the same thing: child behavior. They are, indeed, different types of play, and each and every one of these stages has something to tell us about the development of our child. 


Since children learn by playing with the things that surround them, it is important to know what to look for according to different stages. That way, we can adequately nurture their environment. Let us take a look into the play development business.


Exploratory play.

Most theories agree that this early stage goes from birth up to the first year of our child. During this period, the play involves touching and feeling different types of toys. This behavior enhances their sensory capabilities as well as their gross motor skills. 


At some point during this stage, they also engage with the kind of playing that helps them to link objects and their functions. For example, when they press a button and a toy starts to sound or when they push the car and its starts to roll. 


Relational/pre-symbolic play.

This is probably the richest stage of playing. It goes from the first year up to 22-24 months. During this time, the child will learn and develop important skills that will come in handy later in life. 


It is also during this stage when we can observe the first glance of social skills and interaction. Children will start to notice others and engage in something called parallel play.  


Motor skills are a big part of this particular stage. When children learn to crawl and walk, their gross motor skills are enhanced. At the same time, when they are capable to move on their own, they start to explore different places of the house, taking interest in several sensory experiences. 


Climbing, swinging, and running are some of the activities that will enhance their gross motor skills. 


Finally, in this pre-symbolic stage, children start to play pretend. They begin in a very basic way, like pretending to fall asleep or imitating adult conduct. After this, things will become very interesting.


Symbolic play in stages of play development

This stage of play is by far the coolest of all. Here is where the creativity and imagination of our children are running wild and free. 


They take part in more elaborate fantasies, creating worlds based on the things they like the most. Young children will also engage in cooperative play, understanding the space of others and taking turns to have fun. They will develop social skills as a result of their interaction with others.


During this particular stage, abstract thinking is also taking its place. Language is forming at the same time as their games become more and more elaborated. 


Abstract thinking is crucial in the development of language as well as problem resolution abilities. This is why toys like puzzles or board games are usually recommended for 3 to 4 years and older. 


As you can see, playing is a crucial component in the development of a kid. As parents, we must understand the significance behind all of these stages so we can know how to react and nurture them accordingly.  


Spimbey is the perfect ally in the development of children through their different stages.


We design our products always thinking about how this can help a child. As you know from reading us: playing is no joke. 


Spimbey loves to create healthy and functional fun for kids of all ages.

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