#14: The Dos and Don’ts of Developmental Play

by | Apr 26, 2022 | Podcast

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast

the dos and don'ts of developmental play

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast

#14: The Dos and Don’ts of Developmental Play


We all need play in our lives. Yes, even you! It’s amazing to watch babies and children play. It comes so naturally to them, whereas it seems like we as adults completely forgot how to do it. Even though the way children play seems relatively simple, it’s actually developmental play. It’s how babies and young children learn about themselves and the world around them.

In this episode, I’ll cover the 6 stages of play, from birth through 4+ years. I’ll answer the questions every parent wants to know: when will my child start playing without me? And when will they start playing with other kids? Not only that, but I’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of developmental play, along with some ideas for how you and your partner can add some child-free play to your routine.

Here’s a glance at this episode…

  • [02:19] How kids learn through play
  • [03:06] Unoccupied Play (Birth – 3 Months)
  • [04:31] Solitary Play (Birth – 2 Years)
  • [06:29] Spectator/Onlooker Behavior (2 Years)
  • [08:03] Parallel Play (2 – 3 Years)
  • [10:01] Associative Play (3-4 Years)
  • [11:37] Cooperative Play (4+ Years)
  • [13:11] The dos and don’ts of play
  • [15:35] How you, as the parent, can play

Listen now!

20 ways to play with your baby and toddler

Free: 20 Ways to Play with Your Baby or Toddler

I’ve got a free guide that will give you ideas for playing with your child, from birth through 3 years, using ordinary household items! Fill out the form below to instantly grab a copy. (By submitting this form, you’ll be added to our email list, where you’ll receive weekly parenting tips and insight.)

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Take a moment now to follow the podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. It’s the best way to be notified when a new episode drops each week. These bite-sized episodes are perfect for listening during daycare drop-off, an evening walk, or a quick workout.

One last thing. I spend time each morning in meditation and would love to pray for you, your child or whatever’s on your heart. Simply email me and let me know how to pray. It can be as simple just your name or you can give a short explanation. Either way you can trust that I will do it. It’s a simple, quiet way for us to connect and for me to support you on your parenting journey. 🧡




Six Key Elements of Meaningful Play

You know it’s important for your child to play, but what exactly should the play consist of? Learn six key elements of meaningful play and how you can help enrich your child’s playtime.

Disclaimer: This page may have affiliate links. This means I’ll earn a small commission if you choose to purchase using my link.

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About Ann

I’m a child development specialist, parent coach and teacher trainer. I’ve cared for countless babies in child development programs, plus 3 kids, 4 grand babies and 5 foster babies! I LOVE babies and would come hold yours if I could. ❤️

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