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By playing the child discovers the world and learns to live. That's why playing is structuring for the child. The psychomotor and clinical psychologist Anne Vachez-Gatecel, recommends 5 types of game corresponding to the development of the child.
- 1 year : nest boxes, round or square, which the child can nest or stack, and with which he builds towers. It is jubilant for the child, because he erects something while he himself tries to stand up and sometimes falls ... In addition, he can collapse his batteries, so he has a force on the object, he is an actor ! And if it breaks everything, it is neither serious nor dangerous, it rebuilds ... and can start again and again, which the child likes very much because he is very sensitive to repetition.
- 2 years : the Duplos. With the Duplos, the child begins to build things, forms it is not only a motor activity, we feel that it is the beginning of the story even if the language is not understandable.
- 3 years : dolls, garages, dinette games ... with these simple games, the child reproduces everyday situations. He also begins to invent stories, small scenarios.
- 4 years : figurines, little characters, knights, princesses, monsters, fairies, super heroes ... With these characters, the child has the opportunity to tell and invent stories with villains and gentiles. He tames the emotions of life (fear, sadness, jealousy, love, hate), staging the conflict between good and bad.
- From 4-5 years old: disguises. By dressing up as a princess, knight, the child does more than tell stories, he plays a character. He speaks like a princess, he moves like a knight, he lives like a theater character! At the emotional level, there is more distance with a figurine. For parents, it's also interesting, although for some it's not easy to dress up to play with your child. Many parents are afraid to play with their child, because they wonder how to have authority over him if they play like him, with him? Yet I can reassure them, children know very well when they play "for pretense". They pass without difficulty from "for real" to "for fake".
- From 5 years : cooperation games. These are very interesting games because the children play together and have to help each other to reach the final goal. There is not one winner, it is together that we build and win. I really like games where there is co-construction. To discover cooperation games, download the PDF here
It is important to vary the games you buy and to be aware that it is not because a child has game boxes that he will play! To play the child needs to have acquired an internal security provided by the interaction with the other (his parents) that he feels present and available.
Interviewed by Odile Amblard