Ages Developmental Play needs Preferences
3-6 yrs Improved co-ordination;
Grows in confidence; refines motor skills; understand the importance of boundaries; reading/writing skills; work with numbers Physically challenging activities; enclosed park areas, with swings and climbing frames etc; pretend play (ie hospital kits, cooking equipment, dressing up, super heroes etc); books; water play (ie learn to swim); ball games, running; catching; using bikes and scooters Start to learn social skills; form strong attachments; wish to make own decisions (independence).
Learn to share; look for adult approval; may wish to play with others, but also by themselves (ie me time).
6-9 yrs Should be speaking fluently; develops reading writing skills; finer controlled movements; more inquisitive * Safe outdoor play areas for sports and physical activities; childrens clubs/organized group play; private places for imaginative play; tents/houses; creative (ie drama, singing, dance etc) and craft skills; rules and skills of sporting activities; mind games (ie chess puzzles etc); swimming May start playing away from home. Take up hobbies (ie football, music, drama groups etc). May gain larger peer group; Join Cubs, scouts or guides; may want to be the leader of peer group; May decide not to exercise, but play computer games instead; still looks for adult approval
9-12 yrs Young people grow in strength; boys tend to be taller than girls; can discuss on a similar intellectual level with an adult; more argumentative; display childish behavior;
Needs to feel that they belong, a sense of identity; will choose their learning path; want to spend their time with friends not adults; rebel against authority
12-16 yrs Start showing signs of maturity; have more independent thought; discuss and debate; will challenge authority; language skills progress and improve Specialist coaching/skills development; gyms; leadership training; opportunities for developing physical fitness; youth clubs (providing pool table, table tennis, darts, board games etc; adventure challenges; theatre, festivals and events; Participating in committees to develop and design play activities for themselves; Adults to support and guide them, as good role models Think about career choices; will express their views; may wish to display childish behaviour; enjoy their chosen hobbies; likes/dislikes;