How to Tailor Play to Your Child’s Exact Age to Boost Development

2 – 4 years

3 year old boyWhat kind of play can you do with a child this age?

Now that your child is becoming a social butterfly, you’ll want to provide her with opportunities to play with other children. Imaginary play is huge during this stage of development, so be sure to:

  • provide props like brooms, dress up clothes, scarves, and pretend food as she utilizes her imagination
  • allow for open-ended play; your child doesn’t need spcial equipment, she will magically transform a block into food to feed her hungry imaginary pet in the blink of an eye
  • provide opportunities for creative play by ensuring your child has access to basic art supplies like paper, markers, crayons and paint
  • allow her to make music with toy drums, tambourines, egg shakers and, of course, her voice
  • set up playdates for interactive fun
  • engage in pretend play with her

How does this play help child develop at this age?

Playing with other children gives your child an opportunity to build social skills, like sharing and taking turns, and teachers her how to navigate conflict. As your child engages with you and others, she’ll continue to build her language and communication skills, which are essential in developing and maintaining relationships. During imaginary play, she’s fostering her understanding of symbols, which will serve as a foundation for learning how to read and understand math concepts, and expanding her imagination. Opportunities to create music and art boost your child’s creativity and help her to discover her interests.

Click here to learn how to play with a 4 – 6 year old.