There are all sorts of different types of playing that your toddler will learn to master over time. Play helps your youngster learn about the world around them and to form friendships and understanding. It’s also a whole lot of fun so there is plenty to gain from supporting your little one as they play through their busy early lives. There are five major types of playing:
- Parallel play – Playing alongside others but not playing together
- Solitary play – When your toddler is able to amuse themselves while playing
- Social – interaction with others such as offering their toys
- Co-operative – Working together to play such as helping each other create one structure with building blocks
- Imitative play – Copying your movements or those of other children
How Can You Support Learning Through Play?
There are loads of different ways that you can support your toddler as a parent. Firstly try and ensure that each day involves around an hour of physical activity. It could be a trip to the park, running in the field with the dog or playing in the garden. You can have active play at home too, dancing, skipping, running, hopping, so long as the heart is pumping and the lungs are working it’s all good.
Socialising your child with others is also a brilliant way to support your toddlers playing and learning. Join a local toddler group or active club session, invite friends and family over with other small children and if you have siblings encourage family play sessions. Social activities promote sharing and cooperation skills.
Help your child learn about the world around them by incorporating everyday situations into playtime. Using toys that recreate the home environment (felt sets, play sets, houses such as the Banana in Pyjamas play house) will help your toddler to understand what they certain items are for, when they might be used and this will help your child to solve problems as they get older.
While there is a genuine purpose for play just remember it’s all about being fun. Your child will develop their playing and socialising skills at their own pace. In the meantime focus on helping your toddler play in a safe environment and enjoy these amazing years.
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