Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The seven different types of play

Who knew there were so many ‘types’ of play!? 

In my research at Eureka! I came across this really interesting article from The National Institute for Play (NIFP) in the USA. They’ve identified seven different types of play that we all engage in at different stages of our lives.

Attunement Play
This means a feeling of being "at one" with another being, and this picture taken in our Me and My Body gallery demonstrates it pretty well as a mother and daughter work comfortably together on one of our exhibits.


Body Play & Movement
Keeping active is very important to us here at the museum and there are always plenty of items to keep you moving as shown by this young girl who looks to be really enjoying herself as she plays in the Eureka! grounds.



Object Play
Object play is perhaps the most obvious and familiar form of play because it involves toys. Here at Eureka! there are plenty of opportunities for object play, including treasure baskets, a collection of natural and household objects presented in a round basket for babies to explore. The aim of the baskets is to provide a rich sensory experience for children, letting babies explore objects by themselves, using their five senses and giving an ideal outlet for their natural curiosity.


Social Play
Social play is the rough and tumble we probably all remember enjoying with our brothers and sisters, friends and family as young children. Social play is also found in the close relationship between friends. As the picture below shows, this kind of play is commonly found at Eureka! and these children are happily creating a sculpture in our giant sandpit.


Imaginative & Pretend Play
In the Living and Working Together gallery at Eureka!, imagination is essential with role play opportunities all over the place. Whether you are drawing money out from the play bank or filling up your car at the petrol pump, a child’s mind can create a world of their own in this pretend town square.


Storytelling-Narrative Play
I really like this photo as the little girl seems to be listening intently to the story that is being read aloud to her even though she is sat in one of the walkways of the museum!




Transformative-Integrative & Creative Play
This picture was taken on National Playday where children were given cardboard boxes and craft materials and left to their own devices. All the children were very creative and many transformed their boxes into houses such as the boy below.




Jenny Goodall is in the Play & Learning Team at Eureka!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Gosh, this is interesting. I always thought playing was just about being silly and switching off. I didn’t realise how much we actually learn during play.