Play - FAQs
No. It is important that your child experiences all 5 types of play as it is a vital part of their physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth and well-being.
Gross motor skills are our ability to send accurate messages to our large muscle groups in the arms, legs and torso. These gross motor skills enable us to do everyday physical activities like walking, running, throwing, lifting, kicking, etc. These gross motor skills also form our ability to be body aware, react and control our speed, balance and strength. They are also the building block on which our fine motor skills then develop from.
Fine motor skills are our ability to send accurate messages to the smaller muscles of the body, wrist, hand, fingers, feet and toes. These fine motor skills are more commonly talked about when related to the hand and fingers as these fine motor skills help us to do activities such as using pencils, scissors, using tools and getting dressed.
Children progress through five common stages of play:
- Watching – A child watches what others are doing but does not join in, they are purely an onlooker.
- Solitary Play – They play on their own without regard, or need for others, and enjoy independent activities that do not require others to participate.
- Parallel Play- This is when they play near others but do not interact with them, even if they are using the same play materials.
- Associative Play – When children play in small groups with no defined rules or assigned roles.
- Co-operative Play – Is when children work together in building projects, or pretend play, assigning roles for each member of the group.
They are all so different and because of this the length of time they spend at each stage varies greatly; but they all find their way in time.
You are your child’s first, and most important, playmate. They just love it when you are silly and play games with them; become a pilot, rally car diver or fairy princess for 10 minutes.