No Interaction: Child does not touch or play with toys. Child may engage in self-stimulatory behavior not involving toys.
Manipulation: Child shows interest in toys and demonstrates some exploratory play. Child does not use toys in a conventional manner.
Examples: shakes, mouths, waves, bangs, or lines up toys.
Functional: Child uses most toys in a conventional manner.
Examples: puts bottle to doll’s mouth, puts brush to hair, pushes truck, builds with blocks.
Symbolic/Pretend: Child pretends to do something or be something. Must involve one of the following: using an imaginary object (e.g., moves empty hand to mouth as if drinking from a cup), or using a substitute object for a real object (e.g., puts a plate on one’s head as a hat), or having a toy figure act on its own (e.g., makes a doll walk or talk), or adopting a pretend role (e.g., pretends to be a doctor).
Social Dimensions of Play:
Solitary: Child is focused on his/her own activities and appears to be unaware of peers. Child plays alone with toys different from those used by other children.
Examples: wanders around room, sits with back to other children.
Onlooking: Child shows awareness of peers by looking at them or their activities, but does not enter into play with peers.
Examples: plays independently but faces other children, alternates between self-focused activity and observation of peers.
Parallel: Child plays independently, but in the proximity of peers and/or using similar play materials. Child plays beside rather than with peers, though brief interactions (e.g., showing objects, imitation) may occur.
Cooperative: Child plays interactively with one or more peers. There is a common focus to the play activity. Play is characterized by informal turn-taking, sharing of materials, and giving and receiving help as well as directives.
Examples: two or more children constructing a building with Legos, taking turns playing nerf basketball.