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Play stages: Solitary Play (0-2 years)

Play is children’s work. No, seriously. That’s how they learn and develop many, many skills! It is REALLY important for them to be exposed to different toys and have time for structured and free play. It is also important that they have someone that can show them how to play and have some time to explore toys and objects by themselves.

Today we can explore those play skills that are typical of children from 0-2 years old. `

This first stage is called Solitary play because during this stage children play alone. For instance, they rattle, shake and bang things with both hands and there is limited interaction with other children.

Between 0-6 months they look at adults closely, put things into mouth and touch things with their hands. Between 6-12 months they look at and imitate adults and copy movements such dropping objects (isn’t that fun!). They like simple games like peek-a-boo. By12-18 months they learn through trial and error, for instance banging two objects and finding out the sounds it makes. They repeat actions that they have enjoyed. They may start playing with grown-ups and notice other children but they still play and ‘talk’ alone.

Between 18 months- 2 years they continue exploring things with their mouths. Now, they look at other children playing but do not join in the play. They enjoy playing with adults as well as by themselves.

Infants play by themselves because they are so busy exploring and discovering their new world. Every new object or situation that is introduced is a new learning experience for the newborn. Solitary play begins in infancy and is common in toddlers because of their limited social, cognitive, and physical skills. However, it is important for all age groups to have some time to play by themselves!

Is you baby in the solitary stage? What is he/she doing?

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