How long will my child experiment with one pattern of play for?
Children’s fascinations are as unique as they are, and the same goes for the amount of time they will spend exploring them. You may find your little one is absorbed by a certain pattern of play for just a few weeks or months before moving on to another interest, while other urges may persist for months or years, maybe even into adulthood, for example in hobbies like sailing, baking, skiing and redecorating. So, the patterns they explore in their early years may continue into primary school and possibly even longer.
Over time, patterns of play develop to become more complex as a child’s thinking develops. Vocabulary may grow to include more words that relate to their fascinations, artwork may reflect their play interests and pretend-play may feature and expand on different concepts they are exploring. For example, a young child might explore Trajectory urges, throwing objects or toys or knocking down blocks, versus how a school-age child might throw themselves off a swing or jump off a wall into the sand. Or perhaps they might combine Trajectory with Transporting patterns by running and jumping together, or carrying or throwing things as they jump, experimenting with these activities over and over.
Don’t lose patience if you offer an activity and your child doesn’t get stuck in. While children are often changeable, their play fascinations tend to persist. If you offer opportunities and resources that are based on play patterns you have experienced before with your little one, you will tend to have better luck rousing their interest.
However long your child sticks with a play pattern, the aim is always to help support their growth with encouragement and engagement. If you’d like to learn more about different patterns of play, check them out here and discover loads of fun ways to support your child’s learning.