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Play - Elements Of Children's Play

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 6Play - What Is Play?, The Importance Of Play, Elements Of Children's Play, Social Elements Of Play

Elements of Children's Play

Depending upon the materials involved in play and the level of the child's development, individual experiences, and personality, children will demonstrate a variety of play skills. Children's play skills can be described as having social and cognitive elements. The social elements are identified as solitary, parallel, or social play. The cognitive elements of play are described as being sensorimotor, pretend, constructive, mastery, or games with rules. Table 1 provides a summary of the elements of play and the typical age at which they might be noted or observed.

The social elements of play describe the amount of social interaction that the child is engaged in, whereas the cognitive elements describe the complexity of the child's play skills. Social and cognitive play elements are interrelated and will often overlap. Children may demonstrate several social and cognitive elements during one play activity.

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