Types Of Play Child Development  

Playing is an integral part of child development. It is through games and interactions with other children, a child learns many things and also certain skills. Different games can help with different aspects of child development. Some of the skills a child can learn through games and play include speech, physical strength, expressing emotions, social interaction, and intellectual and cognitive growth.

Broadly, playing can be classified into 2 categories -- active play and passive play.

In active play, children play together with others. There is a high amount of social interaction. Life skills like team work, discussion, leadership and competitive spirit are developed during active play.


  • Associate play helps in building friendship, cooperation and competitiveness. In this kind of play, the child interacts a lot with other children.
  • Cooperative play builds team spirit. There is ‘togetherness’ while playing a game and a group of children share the same goal.

In passive play, the child has limited or no social interaction with others. Here skills like reasoning, problem solving, focus and concentration, perseverance, decision making and self-confidence develop.


  • Solitary play involves playing alone with limited interaction
  • Spectators just observe other children at play but do not take part actively
  • In parallel play, the child does not play ‘together’ with others but in the company of others. This means the child plays on his own, but along with other children.

These types of play can also be conducted by a guide or mentor.

  • Structured play: If children play under the supervision of adults, then the situation is generally quite restrictive and limiting for the individual development of the child. This is called structured play
  • Free play: If children are allowed to take the lead, set rules, experience the play all on their own, it is called free play. This is quite important for a child to take initiatives on his own. It promotes creativity and lengthens the attention span.

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Types Of Play Child Development





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