10 Types of Play and How They Benefit Children’s Development

Kids role playing

Children are natural learners; they absorb information and pick up patterns, ideas, and concepts from the time they are born in order to understand their surroundings and how they relate to others. They go through development spurts as infants, which lead to mental leaps as they discover new things.

As children get older, play becomes the primary means by which they learn new concepts and ideas, as well as a way for them to relate and engage with their parents, siblings, and caregivers in Singapore schools.

Children require a lot of playtime. What are some examples of educational play for children?


1) Unattended play

To most adults and spectators, this type of play may not appear to be play at all. The child watches what is going on while remaining still or making random motions in this style of play.

It helps to sportscast or describe what others are doing at this phase of play, when children are very young, as this introduces valuable language and explains what is going on.

Don’t be concerned if you don’t believe your children grasp what you’re saying. Children are sponges, absorbing and soaking up everything they come into contact with.


2) Onlooker play

Children frequently observe other children at play, which aids their ability to absorb information from a variety of sources. At home, you’ll frequently see this with siblings when a younger sibling observes an older sibling to see what they’re doing and how they’re behaving.

Ask your kids questions about what they’re seeing and why the other kids are acting the way they are. Assist them in developing a mental framework for figuring out the why’s and how’s of what is going on around them.


3) Constructive play

Children learn how to put things together, build with blocks and tools, and manipulate objects through this type of play. This aids in the development of fine motor abilities and object cognition in children.

Open-ended toys are ideal for this style of play because they allow children to express their creativity while also allowing them to experiment with new ways to play with them. Toys that are suited for constructive play include wooden blocks, plastic bricks, and loose bits such as ice cream sticks. Kindergartens in Singapore frequently stockpile these types of toys, recognizing their educational value.


4) Associative play

Children get increasingly concerned in what each other is doing as they adjust to having other kids around them. Rather than doing completely different, independent things while playing, they may both play with blocks separately, occasionally peering over to see what the other children are up to.

As kids converse with each other, this game aids in socialization and problem solving, as well as teaching children about collaboration and language development.


5) Dramatic play

Children begin to use their imaginations during dramatic play. They tell each other stories, which enables them to improve their language abilities and inventiveness. Role-playing also assists kids in establishing the boundaries of their imaginative world as well as how the larger community operates.

Give your children old clothes to use as costumes, such as scarves, caps, old T-shirts, and aprons. Although more elaborate costumes are common in kindergartens and playgroups (think Spiderman masks and Elsa gowns), cast-off garments are equally usable and broaden children’s imaginations.


6) Independent play

Children engage in solitary play while they are alone. This type of play helps kids develop self-sufficiency. Children will not spend much time alone at first, needing to check in with caregivers frequently, but as they get older, they will be able to entertain themselves for longer amounts of time.

If you don’t have to, don’t interfere with your child’s alone time (such as for safety reasons). Allow them to play alone and enjoy being occupied by themselves.


7) Physical play

Children engage in physical play by moving about and being active. This aids in the development of gross motor skills, which include major motions such as running, jumping, hopping, and handling objects like bats and spades. It also aids kids in developing fine motor skills, including small movements like sticking a stick into a hole or scooping sand into a bucket.


8) Playing in pairs

Parents are frequently shocked when their small children play apart instead of together during playdates or when witnessing their children in playgroup. The children may appear to ignore one other and engage in independent play with various toys and games.

This is quite natural, especially before children learn how to communicate with one another, as maintaining relationships is a difficult task. Children may be picking up social cues from each other and replicating each other’s play without even realizing it during parallel play.


9) Collaborative play

Children engage in cooperative play once they begin to play interactively as they  integrate their new social skills and work together. They learn how to bargain, compromise, and solve problems – even if they do it in ways that their parents may not approve of.

Tears and tantrums are sure to follow, but they’re also a sign that your kids are learning how to navigate connections and friendships. In reality, as children grow and mature, cooperative play is the key to future interactions.


10) Competitive play

As children get older, they begin to enjoy competing against one another – though this is often accompanied by disappointment when they lose! Competitive play teaches kids how to follow rules and regulations, take turns, and cooperate as a team to accomplish a common goal.

Teach your children the emotional skills they’ll need to deal with unavoidable setbacks and to be gracious winners and losers alike. It’s critical that they understand that the ultimate goal is for them to have fun and enjoy themselves. For this reason, many local preschools may avoid awarding prizes in order to ensure that the children enjoy participating rather than fighting for a prize.


Learn how Singapore Coding Club includes carefully developed play activities into our learning programs, guided by our top-notch coaches. Unleash your child’s inner coder as they learn programming in a fun and engaging environment.