The Difference Between Structured vs. Unstructured Play
Do you know the difference between structured and unstructured play? Both are important to a child’s development! Structured play involves a child following directions or rules, such as one given by an adult, whereas unstructured play is a child doing what interests them or playing without direction.
Structured play: A child follows directions or rules. Examples of structured play include board games, puzzles, and team activities.
Unstructured play: A child can do what interests them. Examples of unstructured play include playing on the playground, dressing up, and exploring the outdoors.
Most toys can be either structured or unstructured, depending on how baby plays with it! The key is to find a balance between the types of play. Toddlers should spend at least 1 hour in free unstructured play, and at least 30 minutes in adult-led, structured play. Two types of play means more opportunities for learning!
Skills developed through play:
- Creativity and imagination
- Discovering interests
- Problem solving
- Building confidence
- Understanding social situations
- Flexibility and adaptability
And more…so get playing!