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How do babies play differently than toddlers?

November 2, 2015

As soon as babies can grasp with their hands, they explore toys by putting them into their mouths. By 9 months, mouthing toys is not as much fun as banging, shaking, and dumping things. By age 1, babies are putting objects into containers, and they understand that pushing a button or pulling a string can make things happen. It’s exciting to watch how an 18-month-old uses objects to act out familiar activities like eating, drinking and telephoning. By age 2, children are able to use pretend objects in place of real ones. Learning how to pretend is the beginning of dramatic play and is an important first step in learning how to play pretend games with other children.