What Play Skills Should My Child Have?

Encourage your child to play! Play serves a stimulus for normal growth and development. It has an organizing effect on human behavior and is the critical base for adult competence. Play is a child’s work and through this work they develop sensory processing, postural support, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and speech and language skills.

Through play your child explores the environment and learns how objects, people and events work. Provide a variety of motivating, multisensory, play experiences for your child and you will see her flourish. Have fun playing!

2 years old

  • Uses nonrealistic objects in pretending
  • Uses objects to perform actions (teddy bear climbs on bed)
  • Varies own imitation creatively from that of a model
  • Sensorimotor play (exploration and manipulation of the environment) associated with the development of language
  • Plays with gross motor play equipment, construction toys and simple art materials

2-3 years old

  • Uses more abstract representation of object in play
  • Uses multi-scheme combinations (feed doll with bottle, pat it on the back, put it to bed)
  • Parallel plays with peers (imitating and developing cooperative interaction)

3-4 years old

  • Plans out pretend situations in advance, organizing who and what are needed for role-play
  • Events in play are sequenced into a scenario that tells a story
  • Symbolic and simple constructive play develops

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