Category Archives: Play

Your 24-Month-Old at Play

Around 24 months, your toddler begins to enter a new phase of play as they are able to use a more complex form of pretend or symbolic play. During this phase, their creativity and imagination is much more active, and toys and items become different things to play with. Maybe a cardboard box is transformed...

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Play at 22 Months

You may start to see real-life events play out through your child’s symbolic play. Symbolic play, also called pretend play or imaginative play is becoming more and more typical for your toddler right now as she plays house, doctor, farmer, and mom to her baby dolls. You may notice your toddler talking on the “phone”...

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Play at 21 Months

  At 21 months your toddler is probably showing more signs of symbolic play (pretend play or imaginative play.) During symbolic play your toddler may play doctor on her stuffed animals or “drive” a shoe-box around like it is a car. This shows a higher level of thinking as it uses creativity and the ability...

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Play at 20 Months

Your 20-month-old is probably still doing some functional play, but more and more symbolic (pretend or dramatic play) as well. Play with your toddler when you can to encourage this symbolic play as it fosters creativity and imagination. Continue to provide your toddler opportunities to play with other children. Try to keep playdates simple and...

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Play at 18 Months- Will You Be My Friend?

Right around 18 months children typically move from parallel play into associative play. During associative play, children still play primarily independently of each other, but they are more likely to engage in the same type of play. Children will imitate each other and play the same activity with a little bit of interaction with each...

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Play at 17 Months

At 17 months your toddler is starting to show more critical thinking during play. You will notice her solving more complex problems. She is engaging in functional play, using toys in the manner which they are intended (pretending to feed dolls and “cooking” with play pots and pans).  She is also using symbolic play more...

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16-Month-Old Play

Children as young as 16 months are still evolving into the functional play phase, using toys as they are intended more and more each day. You may notice that she is “driving” cars and dump trucks across the floor more and more. You may see him sweeping toys with his tiny broom. He has observed...

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Pretend Play

Right around 15 months functional play, sometimes called pretend play starts to emerge. During this phase of play, toddlers begin to use toys in the way they are intended. For example, your toddler might bring a toy phone to his ear and “talk” on it or he might hammer with a play hammer. This stage...

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Guided Play Verses Free Play

Many child development experts describe play as a way that children learn how object work and how to problem solve and how to understand how people think, feel and act. Play is a form of practicing real life. Through play, children build a lot of important skills, including communication, creativity, imagination, critical thinking, and social...

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