The power of play and early language
- physical play
- constructive play
- pretend play
- sensory play
- symbolic play
- competitive play
- Unoccupied Play (Birth – 3months)
- Solitary Play (Birth -2 Years)
- Spectator/Onlooker Behaviour (2 Years)
- Parallel Play (2+ Years)
- Associate Play (3-4 Years)
- Cooperative Play (4+ Years)
- Develop creativity and imagination skills
- Promote problem solving skills
- Recognise one’s emotions and feelings
- Understand social situations
- Strengthen observation skills
- Discovering interest
- Building confidence
- Encourage flexibility and adaptability
- Promote resilience
Play allows children to learn language in a fun and laid-back way. During play, infants and young children can learn new vocabulary, turn-taking skills, and problem solving skills which are essential to language development. Make sure you give them plenty of time to process spoken information and repeat as many times as possible.
Structured play requires children to follow directions or rules. This includes: board games, puzzles, team sports such as football, basketball, and classes such as dancing, music etc. Unstructured play allows children to do whatever interests them, without many directions or guides. This includes: outdoor play, pretend play, physical play etc.
- Let your child lead
- Be silly and get creative
- Comment and ask questions
- Explore new environment
- Play in different ways
Sing action songs like ‘The Wheel on the bus’ and play games like ‘peek-a-boo’ to encourage communication and concentration. You can get toy props such as a toy bus, puppets or a cloth to support their understanding.
Encourage your child to copy everyday actions such as pretending to talk on the phone, cooking, feeding one another. Comment on what you are doing and encourage your child to do the same. For example, ‘’I’m cooking eggs’’, ‘’Hello daddy! I love you!’’.
Your child is likely still in the stage of solitary play. It means that they prefer to play alone. They are not interested in playing with others.
Set up regular playdates and encourage your child to join in as much as possible. You can ask your child to bring their favourite toy or food and share with others. For example, ‘’Let’s bring your teddy bear to see Charlotte’’, ‘’Let’s play catch with Joe’’.