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! The 6 stages of play are essential to help develop baby’s sensory and motor skills as they grow up.