The Importance of Free Play for Older Toddlers

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Play is the most effective and powerful way for young children to learn about themselves, others and the world. Free play has the biggest influence on child’s development because it gives children an opportunity to experiment with toys and create their own games. Through play, children learn the concepts, skills, and tasks needed to set a solid foundation for later school and life success.

Older toddlers are eager for playmates. Before the age of two they may have been content to play side-by-side other children. Now they play with peers by acting out stories, setting up train tracks together, or negotiating who gets to throw the ball first.