Types of Play

Types of Play

Unstructured Play (Free Play)

Free play can be seen as:

  • fun
  • motivating - for its own sake
  • pleasurable and positively valued
  • flexible and adaptive
  • unpredictable, spontaneous, innovative and creative.
  • sense of free will and control.

Examples may be free play in the playground, movement to music, imaginative play.

Top Tip – it is important not to give too much time to free play as some children lose interest and can become excluded from group play.

Child Initiated Play

Led by the child with an adult close by to assist if necessary.

You may need to demonstrate something such as tying a shoe lace, or how to do a certain activity such as skipping.

You may also need to intervene and suggest a different way for a child to complete a task.

Focused Learning

You start and guide an activity and the children take over. There will be lots of interactions between you and the child to ensure the child continues learning.

Demonstrating being a positive role model help children in these activities.

Highly structured

Activities that are led by adults, take place at set times, have certain rules and may need special equipment.

Top Tip – it's a good idea to avoid creating an environment that is too highly structured that prohibits free expression and self-discovery.