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Play types – new info sheet 02-10-2017

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Play can be noisy, chaotic and social while it can also be quiet, focused and solitary. Because it is so varied many have attempted to categorise play behaviour into different types. In playwork, in the UK, we most commonly use a model with the 16 play types identified and outlined by Bob Hughes. 

This information sheet explores the 16 play types – including creative play, rough and tumble, deep play and social play. It also makes brief comparisons between some of the play types. The various play types attempt to describe the full range of children’s play behaviours and how they might contribute to children’s physical, mental and emotional development.

Facilitating the play types in practice to ensure children experience a range of opportunities and experiences requires space, permission and variety. 

This information sheet is aimed at playworkers, but is also useful for practitioners in schoold and early years settings.

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