Any pattern in your little one’s play is an exploration of the world around them — even if we don’t have a specific label for it. By identifying repeated patterns, we see that play is purposeful and contains intellectual content, even if it might seem perplexing to us. All play can be a learning activity, helping to build the fabric of our children’s brains.
We’ve covered several patterns that are commonly explored and relatively easy to spot, however it is entirely possible that your child is exploring an idea in a less obvious or familiar pattern that we haven’t covered here.
Sometimes we may miss identifying a play pattern because a child moves on from exploring one to another very quickly. Or, they may explore two patterns at once but one appears more obvious to you.
For example, a child who has been spending a long time exploring Transforming with baking, making sandcastles in the sandpit and crushing them, squirting paint and smearing it around, may also have a long track record of experiences with Trajectory as well. But perhaps the Trajectory activities don’t seem nearly as obvious to someone observing their play because the ideas are more subtle, or the messiness of the Transforming stands out more.
It’s possible that a little one may ‘skip’ a certain pattern of play entirely. We’re not sure why children become more fascinated with some patterns of play rather than others, or why they choose not to explore one at all.
Even if we can’t identify exactly which pattern of play a child is using, we can still recognise their play as meaningful and purposeful and support their interests in the world around them in whatever ways nourish them best.
If you’re keen to identify what kind of patterns of play your child is using to learn about the world, take our short quiz!
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