At each age, his games!

At each age, his games!

At each age, his games!

The first baby games are solitary. But as your child gets older, the way he plays changes and becomes more and more with others.

During his first year, a baby plays alone. He discovers his body and the objects that surround him. To encourage it, you can put it on the floor and put objects around it that are bright and easy to grasp. “My 4-month-old daughter takes things and looks at them from all sides. It fascinates her, says Valérie Lamarche, mother of Jasmine. She can also have fun alone for a few minutes on her exercise mat. At this age, a child is also very interested in the faces of people around him, like Jasmine laughing loudly when her parents make him cuckoo and funny mimicry. Around one year, baby loves to watch more and more children, but he is not yet ready to play with them.

Jessy, 17 months, loves watching older kids. “He watches them play with a lot of curiosity,” said his dad, Alexandre Provost. I even feel that he envies them! On the other hand, he does not play yet with other children, even those of his age. This is normal: between 18 months and two years begins the stage of parallel play. Toddlers play next to other children, but individually.

A child gradually learns to play with others.

Around three years old, this is the beginning of the group game. Children start having fun with others, but it never lasts very long, and conflicts are numerous. Also, they generally prefer to have a single playmate, rather than several. Between 4 and five years of age, as children develop their language, knowledge, and social skills, children play more and more with others. This is what Valérie Dionne, mother of Gaël, four years old, noticed. “My son has changed a lot in a few months. Now he shares more efficiently, and he waits his turn without protesting. The game with others is more enjoyable. And he is even able to play board games, with our help, and to abide by simple rules. “


Your child does not want to share or wait for his turn? He may be just too small. You have to be patient. A 2-year-old toddler, for example, does not yet have the psychological maturity to do so. Instead of forcing him, you can offer him to lend a toy in exchange for another. Trade is the first step toward sharing. Congratulating your child when he shares, is another way to encourage him.
And if he is a bad loser? “It’s better not always to let him win,” says Roland Filion, a school psychologist. A child must learn to behave well when he loses. You can play games with him where only chance counts, such as the card battle game. Sometimes he will win, sometimes he will lose. This will help him better accept the defeats. With your help, your child will gradually learn acceptable behaviors when he plays with others.
What are we playing?

As your child gets older, the way they play evolves and becomes more complex. There are four main types of games: exercise games, symbolic games, assembly games, and rule games.
When he is a baby, the child likes to move. He is primarily interested in games that allow him to develop his physical abilities and stimulate his senses. For example, he plays with his hands and feet, puts objects in his mouth, he plays with a rattle, he plays on a waking man, he plays with a balloon or with toys to push and shoot, etc. Later, several other exercise games will be part of his life. For example, he is riding a bike, sliding, swinging, jumping rope, playing in the water, playing a sport, etc.
Around two years, the symbolic game appears. “The child starts playing dad and mom or preparing a meal for his doggies,” says the psychopedagogy Roland Filion. Thus, the child enjoys reproducing simple gestures that he sees every day, such as feeding his doll or rocking his doggie. As he grows up, he will also invent scenarios and role plays. This is the case of Gaël, four years old. “He disguises himself as his favorite character, and he invents all sorts of adventures,” says his father, Jean-Éric Barabé. He often trains me in his scenarios, and he tells me to do this or that. He also likes to create stories with dinosaurs, trucks, and figurines. Drawing, DIY, modeling clay are also symbolic games.

Around 2½ years, your toddler is ready for assembly games like puzzles, blocks, and construction games. However, you must make sure to offer games adapted to his age. For example, you can first suggest wooden puzzles with a small stem before showing him puzzles with two or four pieces. Finally, around age 5, he begins to focus on rules games, such as card games and board games, but also on motor games that include rules, such as tag and team sports.