Childhood PLAY – STAGES (Part 2)

jump rope 

but not too much!

PREVIOUS: Children & Play (Part 1)

SITE: Ages & Stages of Child Development 

DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES of Play in Early Childhood
4. Parallel P  (Part 1)

5. Associative P.
This is when children start to see the value in playing with others, but test their boundaries. They don’t ignore their own interests, with a mild attempt to control who can & can’t be in the group. They’re involved with what others are doing – all play the same games, talk about what they’re doing, borrow & lend play things, follow each other with trains or wagons…. without assigning tasks & materials, or choosing a goal. They may alternate playing with others & then on their own

SKILLS which help build friendships:frindship play
• Cooperation (if we work together we can make our city even better!)
• Language development (what to say to get their messages across)
• Problem solving (how can we make this city bigger?)
• Socialization (what should we build now?)

3 – 4 yrs. old: They play cooperatively together, taking turns with other children. Show more reasoning skills & ask Qs re. ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Recognize shapes, letters, colors, & can solve jigsaw puzzles by combining thinking by trial and error. Play imaginatively (play house, dress-up //  make sandcastles, collect rocks…).

6. Cooperative Play
When children focus on a joint effort rather than on themselves, bringing together all of the social skills they’ve been working on, and putting them into action. Play is organized to:
–> make a tangible object, reach a competitive goal, dramatize situations of adult & group life, or play formal games.
At this level there’s usually one clear leader, play is structured, & they work together toward a common goal. This can cause conflicts, but also can be resolved quickly

Co-op Play allows mastery of important new social skills:
Obeying rules: Most want very much to win, even if it means cheating
Negotiating: Must learn to give as well as take, to compromise on what they want – all of which is hard to acceptsharing when you’re the ‘center of the universe’

Sharing: When little ones want something, the thought of giving it up to someone else is almost unbearable. It’s made harder by the confusing use of  ‘share’ – some things you’ll get back (a toy) some things you won’t (a cookie)
Taking turns: their desires are urgent & immediate. – “I want it NOW.” Delaying gratification is required, & being able to imagine what it’s like being the other children. Empathy already learned (hopefully at home) & during parallel play will help

> This stage may be seen in younger pre-schoolers as well, if they have older siblings or are around a lot of other children
• 4 – 6 yrs. old : They plays cooperatively, take turns & may enjoy table-top games. Start to understand & use symbols (for writing & reading).
Are better able to reason & figure out their experiences. Start to understand simple rules in games
6 – 8 yrs. old : They like to play with children of their own gender. Enjoy playing co-operative games in small groups a& making up their own games with rules, but usually don’t cope well with losing

ACoA INVENTORY re. Play Stages
IMP: Always start from the position that you are not deficient, even if the WIC doesn’t believe it, yet – but rather how you were raised.

Using Part 1 & 2, WRITE what you can about your play history. Keeping in mind the limitations & stressors of your childhood  :
• List what you did get to do – at each stage – what parts you missed out on, how each one turned out and what affect that had on you – emotionally.
• Given your present-day patterns, are you struggling with one or more of the stages?
• Identify if & how you’ve added healthy playing to your life in the course of Recovery (review the DEF of Play).


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