Study Notes


BTEC National

Last updated 29 Sept 2019

Play is an important part of a child’s development. Through play, a child learns about communication, relationships and turn-taking, amongst other essential skills.

Psychologists have observed play and established categories of play, along with characteristics.

Solitary play (0-2 years)

  • Solitary play is the first type of play observed in infants.
  • It is also known as independent play, children play alone as they have not yet developed socially enough to play with others.
  • The infant will explore and play with a range of toys during this stage.

Parallel play (2-3 years)

  • Parallel play is illustrated by children playing side-by-side, but not playing with each other.
  • Parallel play occurs between the ages of 2-3 years and is an important part of socialisation. Children observe and listen to each other.
  • During this stage, children share the same interest in toys and this common theme results in parallel play.

Cooperative play (4-5 years)

  • This occurs as the child acquires the social skills to interact with others.
  • Cooperative play is usually more organised and has a shared goal, such as putting on a play or completing a puzzle together.
  • It is very clear in cooperative play which child is taking on the role of the group leader.

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