Social Skills

Physical growth and motor skills are not the only important part of a childʼs development. Social skills are important to a childʼs well being as well. One aspect of social skills is the way a child participates in play. It is important for families to incorporate play into their lifestyles. This strengthens parent/child relationships and provides good childhood experiences. There are many types of play. The following defines different types of play as well as age appropriate norms for your child. Social Play: interaction with other people (this could include a caregiver or a friend depending on your childʼs age) Functional/Relational Play: The child understands the action of the toy and uses it for its purpose (e.g. The child will press a button because he or she knows it will play music for them). Gross Motor Play- When a child uses large movements in their play. " Birth- 6 months Social Play Child is focused on attachment and bonding with parents at this age. (ie. coos, then squeals, smiles, laughs out loud, expresses discomfort by cryin) 6-12 months Functional Play Social Play Child begins to use toys based on their function (ie. child will press buttons on toys to hear music) Child now has an attachment to parent/caregiver (may show some stranger anxiety, lifts arms to be picked up, and plays contently when caregivers in the room, plays give and take) 12-18 months Functional Play Child engages in pretend play that involves themselves (e.g pretend eating or sleeping) Child explores by crawling all around the room -Starts peer interactions with parallel play (when a child plays side by side with another child but has limited communication or interaction with them) -Shares toys with parents -Shares facial expressions of other (ie. smiling)

Gross Motor Play (Play that includes a lot of movement) Social Play

Social Skills

18-24 months Pretend Play Social Play Making toys or objects “make noise”. (e.g. making dolls eat or dance) -Participates in parallel play -Imitates parents and peers in play -Participates in groups of children -Watches other children -Begin to take turns -Laughs when someone does something silly -Enjoys playing by themselves while coloring or building blocks 24-36 months Symbolic Play Gross Motor Play Social Play Uses toys to represent animals or people Likes jumping Mainly parallel play 3-4 years Gross Motor Play/Rough and Tumble Play Social Play Swinging, sliding, jumping, running Prefers play with other children -Engages in singing and dancing in groups -Participates in circle time -Shows interest in being a friend 4-5 years Social Play -Games with rules (ie. card games-”go fish”) - Participates in role playing games (ie. Playing house or doctor) - Tells stories -Throws ball, jumps from high steps, hops (4-6 steps), skips for long distances

Gross Motor Play

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