Playing isn’t all about toys and games, a child displays different types of play while growing up. 

There are 6 main types of play and they are as follows:

Unoccupied:

Unoccupied play is when the child is not playing, just observing.

“He may be engaged in seemingly random movements, with no objective.” (Source:Important Types of Play in Your Child’s Development Medically reviewed by Joel Forman, MD)

Solitary:

This type of play is also called the independent play.

“This is when your child plays alone, with little to no reference to what other kids or adults are doing.” (Source:https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/types-of-play#6.-Cooperative-play)

This type of play is more common in younger children (age 2-3) as opposed to older ones.

Onlooker:

“Onlooker play is when a child simply observes other children playing and doesn’t partake in the action”(Source:Important Types of Play in Your Child’s Development Medically reviewed by Joel Forman, MD)

This  type of play is also more common in younger children (age 2-3).

Parallel:

Also known as adjacent play. 

“Parallel play means that a child might use the same toys, your child plays beside, rather than with, other children.” (Source:https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/types-of-play#6.-Cooperative-play)

“Despite having little social contact between playmates, children who parallel play actually learn quite a bit from one another like taking turns and other social niceties.”(Source:Important Types of Play in Your Child’s Development Medically reviewed by Joel Forman, MD)

Associative:

This stage is a bit similar to the parallel play.

Associative Play is when the child is interested in the people playing but not in coordinating their activities with those people, or when there is no organized activity at all. In Associative Play, children are learning to be more interested in the children playing than the actual activity. ( Source: https://www.psysci.co/associative-play/)

Cooperative:

This is the final stage when the child is ready to finally cooperate and interact with others. The child is interested both in people playing and in the activity they are doing.

Kids play with others for a common purpose. 

“Cooperative play uses all of the social skills your child has been working on and puts them into action.5 Whether they are building a puzzle together, playing a board game, or enjoying an outdoor group game, cooperative play sets the stage for future interactions as your child matures into an adult.”(Source:Important Types of Play in Your Child’s Development Medically reviewed by Joel Forman, MD)