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Games Creating Social Development Of Children


Does your child have trouble playing? How long does your child play? Do you know the type of game which is suitable for your child?

Play is a process of normal development seen in children which progress sequentially following experiences attained and adventures which include physical, cognitive and social involved during their development.

Type of Games for different age group

Games are categorized into 5 types of games according to the age of the child.

Age Type of Game Description
0-2 years Solitary Games/ Individual

When the child is alone


0-6 months:

  • Put object into mouth.
  • Reach, pinch, collect and grasp using hand.
  • Playing games like rattling toy.

12 months:

  • Imitates.
  • Repetitive movement like clapping, banging objects together.
  • Play peek-a-boo.
  • Exploring the game using hands and mouth.


12-18 months:

  • Knocking two objects and identifies the noise produced.
  • Imitates action.
  • Self play and tries to talk on her/his own.

18-24 months/2 years

  • Learn by trial and errors
  • Imitates style of play of other children or adults.
  • Observe other children play but do not participate.
  • Plays with adults.
  • Prefer repetition games.


 2-2.5 years  Spectator Game

Watch other children play

 2.5-3 years Parallel Games 

Play similar games with other children but do not communicates or share their games.

 3-4 years Games associative/ share 

Play and interact with other children


  • Identify shapes, letters and colors.
  • Attempt to solve a simple jigsaw puzzle.
  • Play with other children.
  • Likes to ask question and get confirmation as why and how.
 4-6 years Cooperation game 

Children at this age can interact, participate in games, share, collaborate, negotiate and make decision regarding selection of games.


  • Able to learn and use symbol in writing and reading.
  • Able to understand lessons learned from an experienced.
  • Able to understand rules and regulation of the game.
  • Able to cooperate, take turns, and express his/her emotion during play. 

Identify abnormal characteristics of children’s development during play.

Play is essential in the development of intra-personal skills and social development in children. It is ideal for parent to be able to identify abnormal characteristic of play in their child. Abnormal characteristic in play includes:

  • Fear of certain movements e.g. too fast, slow, high or low.
  • Less active or interested in activities that involve sitting.
  • Unable to use toys or games given appropriately according to age and does not show interest.
  • Behavioral problem or overactive
  • Inattentive
  • Less interested in games related to the structure or form of order and Imagination
  • Lack of social interaction or communication
  • Limited speech.
  • Not interested in playing or observe other children play.
  • Does not want to explore new games, prefers playing the same repetition game
  • Lack of interest and understand basic concepts such as numbers, letters, shapes and colors.
  • Lack of abilities to plan games which involve the movement of motor, cognitive and behavioral.

Rehabilitation Approach

Parents play an important role in their child’s social development by providing support, guidance, time and space for their children.

Approaches that can be used to improve the development of children’s play includes:

  • Ensure a more interactive environment for children such as bright room, toys which produce sounds to attract children.
  • Introduce different types of sensory games such as jumping, crawling, throwing or catching a ball.
  • Encourage group play and interaction among children.
  •  Encourage children to take turns to participate in game.
  • Combination of picture card to help in better understanding during play.

 In Malaysia, advisory services and related reference a child’s development can be done in all government and private hospitals. The professionals involved are Pediatrics Specialist, Medical Officer, Occupational Therapist and physiotherapist.

Last Review : 28 August 2020
Writer : Pn. Nurulhuda Binti Mohamad
Accreditor : Pn. Norafizah Binti Mohamad Anuwar
Reviewer : Tan Foo Lan