Math Flash Card Partners

Stages of Play

  • Mildred Parten Newhall's Stages of Play and Sharing

    According to Parten, as children became older, improving their communication skills, and as opportunities for peer interaction become more common, the nonsocial (solitary and parallel) types of play become less common, and the social (associative and cooperative) types of play become more common.

    View a PDF of the Stages of Play and Sharing birth to 6 years old.

    Development of Play

    "Children spend many of their waking hours engaged in play, and this is frequently claimed to be crucially important to children's development," (Lilard, 2014, p. 425).

     In this article, play is defined, major theories of children's play, an overview of the developmental course of play across childhood, contemporary debates and developments in play research (theory of mind, symbolic understanding, children's ability to discriminate between fantasy and reality, what role pretend play has in development, and how children get initiated into the practice of pretend play), broad group differences in play according to gender, culture, and atypical development.


Stages of Play