Enhancing Play in Preschoolers

Play is essential for all children. While technology and toys have changed over time, the benefits of play have not. Play helps children learn and engage with the world around them. It also helps them develop social skills, problem-solving skills, and creativity.

Your child may need additional support to learn how to play and interact with toys.

Learn more about play using the “SPICE” acronym. 

Video 1: SPICE: Social Play, Physical Play 

Learn how play evolves socially and how one moves the body when playing. 

Video 2: SPICE: Imaginative Play, Cognitive and Creative Play, Emotional Play

Learn how to include decision-making, creativity, and emotions in playtime.

Play promotes personality development

You may be able to determine some characteristics of your child’s personality at a young age. Dr. Brown has found eight types of “play personalities” through interviews and observations. Knowing your child’s play personality will help you understand their intrinsic motivators and use activities that naturally excite and engage them.   

Discover the eight types of play personalities and determine your child’s play personality. 

 Read more about Dr. Brown’s Play Personalities and take the personality test.   

Parents and caregivers can provide the following support:

  • Describe what the child is exploring.
  • Describe how other children are playing.
  • Adapt the play area to make it accessible to the child. Adapting could involve removing obstacles, providing tactile cues, or using toys that make sounds. You can develop a play space to help them expand their passions into other areas of development. Consider objects on the floor, table, wall, and ceiling when configuring a play space. You may have to sit or kneel at your child’s level to discover what they can reach and explore.
  • Play with the child. You can model that play is fun and enjoyable.