There’s a Reason They Play ‘Like That’

Every wonder why your little one is suddenly obsessed with moving all of their toys from one end of the room to the other? Or why they need to sort all of their toys by size and color? These acts aren’t accidental nor are they a waste of time. Such playful tendencies are part of ‘schematic play’ — a necessary part of a every childs development. As parents, tuning into them and nurturing them will do wonders for your bubs learning and growth. 

‘Schemas’ are repeated actions & behavioural patterns that come to life through play. It is through these actions that kids are able to problem solve, question things, imagine potential, predict action, speculate possibilities and develop independent choices! So when your baby is obsessed with tossing thing out of their high chair it may be annoying but it’s actually a good thing. They’re learning!

For parents, being able to recognize the type of schematic play their child is interested in is important as it allows them to build on their unique interests.

Schematic play is described as deep-level learning since children are highly engaged and focused taking part in these actions. That means providing toys, activities and materials that help children fully explore their schemas will be highly beneficial for their development. Also, by catching schematic play when it happens parents can redirect harmful and inappropriate actions by making them more safe.

So what kind of patterns should you be looking out for? And once you can recognize the patterns, what can you do with them?

We’ve put together the Coles Notes on schematic play and toy pairings that you can use to fuel each style of play.


But remember toys aren’t always necessary if your trying to engage your little one in Schematic Play. Check out some resources (here and here) for more info and DIY activities that can be just as engaging.

What kind of schematic play is your kiddo obsessed with at the moment? Let us know in the comments below! 

Stacy GagnidzeComment