What Are the 6 Stages of Play?
Did you know there are 6 stages of play?
- Unoccupied Play: 0-3 Months
- Solitary Play: 0-2 Years
- Onlooker Play: 2 Years
- Parallel Play: 2+ Years
- Associate Play: 3-4 Years
- Cooperative Play: 4+ Years
All the stages involve exploring, being creative and having fun.
Unoccupied Play: 0-3 Months
- Makes a lot of movement with their arms, legs, hands, feet, etc.
- Place baby in a safe space on the floor with something interesting to look at
Solitary Play: 0-2 Years
- Content to play alone
- Give baby toys with buttons to push or levers to pull, so they are excited to explore on their own
Onlooker Play: 2 Years
- Watches other children playing, but doesn’t play with them yet
- Sit baby on your lap & let them observe what’s going on when a sibling or another child is present
Parallel Play: 2+ Years
- Plays alongside or near others
- Set up a play space so the children can play near each other with either the same or different toys
Associate Play: 3-4 Years
- Starts to interact with others during play
- Use a toy that two can play with at once (e.g. a kitchen set or cars), they may talk to each other while playing
Cooperative Play: 4+ Years
- Plays with others
- Try playing a game with some instructions so both children can play with each other
Play starts when we’re babies and never stops!