Play and Early Learning: How Play Develops and Some Play Materials and Toys

Doorsteptutor material for IMO is prepared by world's top subject experts: fully solved questions with step-by-step explanation- practice your way to success.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 205K)

How Play Develops

  • As described by different scholars play varies with age. Piaget described play sequence at different ages. Play changes according to the biological, social, emotional and intellectual competencies. An infant’s capacities allow for play through use of the body.

  • There are certain patterns and sequence in play behavior that children display as they grow.

Play in First Two Years

Play in First Two Years

Play in First Two Years

  • Sensorimotor play, play with objects, symbolic and social play with adults are the main types of infant play. Play at this age is rooted in the movement of the body and discovering the possibilities with movement of hands and feet. Children do so for their happiness. As they approach one year of age, their interest moves to the surroundings as they can move on their own and become familiar with others.

  • Play with an object starts at four to five months because, by this time, children has acquired eye-hand coordination and can grasp things around.

  • Symbolic play starts after the first year. The process of substituting one object for the other is very common. For example, using a wooden piece as a telephone receiver.

Ages 2 to 5

  • During this period, all play becomes more purposeful. The size of the group for social play increases and the play becomes challenging with cooperation and compromise. Play and play mates become more selective, and selection is done according to their interest on the basis of age and gender.

  • Solitary play means playing alone, and parallel play means independent play in the same play and in the same group. Dramatic play is the feature of this age group. In dramatic play, children play the role of a shopkeeper or a family member.

Ages 5 to 12

At this age, children enter elementary school. The play pattern becomes more systematic and regulated. The strength of make-believe play reduces gradually, and play becomes logical and rule dominated. They start to play competitive and serious games with rules like basketball and football . The number of participants (at least two) and their behavior are controlled by some strict rules and group norms.

Developed by: