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Parents, Playmates and Playthings: How Your Child Plays

Posted in Store News |

Nursery teacher playing with the kids.

by The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association

Play involves interaction. Whether your child is doting on a doll in a round of “let’s play doctor,” chasing a friend around the playground in a game of tag, or performing a scene from a movie at the dinner table for their parents, play is a process of engaging.

While parents may be the first playmate (or play thing), as your child develops you’ll start to see him or her engage with peers and playthings in different ways. Here’s how the evolution progresses:


Baby see, baby do. Parents are a baby’s first and most favorite playmates and playthings. From birth, kids are ready to play. Songs, rhymes, peek-a-boo, and finger plays are simple social interactions that are stimulating, soothing, and fun for both parent and child. As your child grows, the way you may engage in play will change. Jump into that game of tag on the playground, don a crown and cape for a ‘royal procession,’ or tell a collaborative story at the dinner table.


Babies love babies. Sit two six-month-olds together and they’ll …

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Many thanks to Nancy Stanek for her contributions to this article.