“We are never more fully alive, more completely
ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything
than when we are playing”
– Charles Schaefer
Play in children
A child’s business & pleasure
Universal & individualized for all children.
Promotes growth and development.
Has no serious motive & no material gain
A natural and spontaneous social behavior
Depends upon age, sex, interest, personality, ability, cultural,
patterns and socio-economic status
Play, playtime and playmates decrease as the age increase.
Importance of Play
In Wellness In illness (Therapeutic)
Physical development Regaining lost musculoskeletal
Intellectual and educational
Overcoming stranger/ separation
Emotional development Overcoming fear of procedures
Social development Social interaction with health
Development of muscular and sensory abilities –
By running, climbing, riding cycle…
Learning coordinated movements and skills
Learning to differentiate sensations by visual,
auditory and tactile stimulations through the use of
Intellectual and Educational Development
Learning color, size, shape, number, distance, height, speed,
name of the objects etc.
Creative activity, problem solving, abstract thinking,
imagination, communication and speech development
Improves attention span and concentration
Making a difference between reality and fantasy
Experiencing the thrill of achievement.
Expressing fear, anxiety, anger, joy
Enhancing coping abilities – Reduces stress and strain and removes
irritability and destructiveness
Communication with others
Outlet for negative feeling – A safety valve to release emotional
tension, reduce emotional trauma.
Socialization - Interacting with playmates by sharing, understanding,
Learnt from parents, teachers and other adults.
Right vs wrong; honesty, sportsmanship & value system.
Creativity and independence
Play in Infants
Unoccupied, onlooker, solitary independent, social
affective, sensorimotor (sense pleasure), imitation
Play for Infants…
Hang bright objects, shiny objects within 20 to 25 cm,
Play music box ,radio, ticking clock, rattles, soft
Hold the infant ,cuddle, clapping hands, show the place
around, leave on floor to crawl
Peek-a-boo, drums, sponge toys, teddy bears
Play ball by rolling it, building blocks, cup and spoon
Play in Toddlers
Parallel, associative, inquisitive, disorganized,
distractible, skill play
Play for Toodlers…
Pull and push toys
Appropriate TV programs
Hide and seek
Play in Preschool Children
Imaginative/ dramatic play – Identifying self
with an adult
Structured formal play – In late preschool years.
Play for Preschoolers…
•Likes to listen and play rhymes
•Car, trucks, planes, Doctor-nurse kit
•Toy piano, Drums, puzzles
Play in School Children
Formal games - Competitive sports, games
Creative, organized, cooperative
Hobbies for recreation and diversion.
Imitation and dramatizing more complex activates
(acting out stories in books)
Play for Schoolers…
• Table games
• Roller skates
• Musical instrument
• Dramatic play
• Athletic sports
Play in Older school age and Adolescents
Daydreaming - A more sophisticated type of
Competitive sports, operating computers,
watching television, listening to the radio,
hobbies, reading etc.
Play for Adolescents…
•Engaged in organized competitive sports
•Choose more passive spectator sports
Selection and Care of Play Materials
Depends upon -
Age, abilities, interest, like and dislike, cultural,
experience, personality and level of intelligence
of the child.
Selection of Play Materials
Safe, washable, light weight, simple, durable, easy
to handle and non-breakable
Realistic, attractive, constructive and offering
problem- solving opportunities.
Selection of Play Materials
No sharp edges/ small removable parts which may be
swallowed or inhaled.
Not over stimulating and frustrating
No toxic paints, not costly, not inflammable and not
Avoid toys with electrical plugs for children < 8 years of
Role of Parents…
Correct use of toys – Explain the directions for use
Safe storing of toys - Within easy reach
Keeping playthings in good condition
Parents should repair/ discard damaged/ broken toys
Keep play materials of older siblings away from
Parents should involve in their children’s play
Role of Nurses…
Educate and ensure safety factors
Involve in the play
Ensure therapeutic effectiveness
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