Types Characteristics Examples
Functional Play Repetition of movements when new skills are being learned, with or without objects. Infants and toddlers: grasping and pulling a mobile
    Preschoolers and kindergarteners: repeating a pattern on a pegboard
    School-aged children: practicing throwing, catching, or doing acrobatics
Symbolic Play Use of imagination and role play to transform the self and objects and to satisfy needs. Infants and toddlers: pretending to drink from a baby bottle
  Early symbolic play: mental representation that transforms one object for another. Preschoolers and kindergarteners: pretending a block is a broken car and pretending to fix it
  Later symbolic play: mental representation that transforms self and objects School-aged children: using secret codes or made-up languages to communicate
Constructive Play Manipulation of objects or materials to make something. Combines functional play repetitive activity with symbolic representation of ideas. Occurs when children regulate their own creations or constructions. Preschoolers and kindergarteners: constructing a hospital room for a sick animal
    School-aged children: creating an exhibit of a project just studied or designing virtual games and figure with electronic icons
Games with Rules Activities with predetermined rules that are goal-oriented and often competitive with one or more individual. Infants and Toddlers: playing pat-a-cake with an adult
    Preschoolers and kindergarteners: playing simple singing and circle games
    School-aged children: tag, marbles, hopscotch, or contests such as relay races