Will my child explore all patterns of play?
When it comes to how many patterns of play your little one will explore, every child is different! Some will explore several if not all of our identified play patterns. Others might have a strong interest in one or two they explore consistently for a long time, returning to them again and again and potentially making your patience frazzle! But not all patterns will be explored obsessively or to the same extent by all children.
You may possibly notice a development process as their focus shifts from one play pattern (or group of play patterns) to another. This may be because they’ve satisfied their urges and curiosity about a concept they’re exploring. There’s no need to push children to try new patterns of play or skip certain ones — the curiosity and drive will come naturally from them.
The best thing to do is to simply pay attention to your child’s repetitive actions and to have conversations about these activities that nourish and extend them. Offer ways for your children to explore their patterns of play with more depth and variety of experiences.
For instance, if your child is focused on Enclosing, what different objects and materials could you supply them with to help make boundaries for toys and objects? If you child is focused on Transforming, what new ways could you set up water, paint, sand or mud for messy play outside? How could you talk to your child about Trajectory urges without being judgemental or discouraging?
It’s also important to note that children may need to repeat their actions far more than adults may realise — and just because we lose interest in an activity doesn’t mean they have! Remember, repetition in play is how children learn about the world. Offer them chances to repeat activities and explorations they are enthusiastic about. If you notice their interest fading, offer a variation.
Our quiz covers only a few of the more common fascinations. There are many more, and some are subtle and much harder to spot. If you notice something your child is doing over and over again, you know it is important to them. Having the ‘right’ label isn’t as important as noticing what is important and finding ways to support your child to explore those ideas.
Now that you know a little more about how your child learns through play, you can support their growth. 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.
Have fun playing and learning together!