Welcome to Growing Tree Toys. Skip directly to: main content, navigation, search box.

Types of Play

Throwing balls, reading books, dressing up, painting pictures — children can learn and play in so many ways! To help shoppers find the most appropriate toys for children, Growing Tree Toys provides information on 6 types of play for every toy on the website, which help outline the various play behaviors associated with the toys. We have separated the “play” of our toys into the following six types of play:

Active | Cooperative | Creative | Dramatic | Manipulative | Quiet

These types of play provide further information on what to expect from a particular toy and how a child will interact with the toy. Knowing the types of play for a toy is important to customers as they assess the environment in which the child is learning, the specific interests of the child, or the areas in which the child needs development. Through our years in the business, we understand children, their play habits, and how they respond to the toys at our store, which has helped us create these play classifications for our toys.

We feature colorful icons with every toy on the site that outline the Types of Play for that product, which helps guide customers in their decision-making process when determining if a toy will lead to countless hours of fun and learning for a child. Searching for a toy for a child online on our website will be so much fun, it will become your play time — quiet and manipulative play time to be exact!

Active PlayActive Play
Play that involves movement and physical activity. Active play is the perfect type of play to tucker any youngster out! Whether running around in the yard or building sand castles at a local playground, active play is an essential part of a child's development. Some examples of active play are:

  • Riding Bikes
  • Swinging at the playground
  • Kickball

Our toys will be the perfect outdoor companion, providing sporting fun and activity galore!

CooperativeCooperative Play
Play for your child and a group of friends. Cooperative play can take place almost anywhere — outside on the playground or downstairs in the basement. In any environment, children learn from watching other children play and interacting with them socially. Some fun cooperative play activities are:

  • Interactive pretend play
  • Basketball
  • Board games

Game time, make believe time — it's all fun time when other children are around to take part in play!

creativeCreative Play
Play that ignites a child's imagination and makes something out of nothing! A box of crayons, construction paper, pipe cleaners, scissors and glue – they are all staples in the home, but when they come together in the hands of a child, they become magical works of art. But, Creative Play extends beyond art, entering a world of music, dance, building — even dirt! Creative play includes such things as:

  • Painting
  • Sculpting play dough
  • Building or creating crafts

Providing a child a creative outlet will lead to many amazing things, and as you may know already, some not so amazing things if it involves drawing on furniture or a wall!

DramaticDramatic Play
Play that involves pretend and make believe, or whatever the imagination dreams. Have you ever found a child in your clothes? Carrying your briefcase? Wearing your old uniform? What seems commonplace to you opens a whole new world of possibilities to a child. Dramatic play can include:

  • Simple role playing
  • Using props to create a "new" environment
  • Creating scenes or situations with dolls and puppets

Children love role-playing and exploring worlds outside of their everyday, creating new and fun situations with every costume and prop. Imagine what they think you do at work!

ManipulativeManipulative Play
Play that involves hand-eye coordination and motor skills. Children need the opportunity to work on finer skills that involve a little more control and direction. Manipulative play develops the sense of coordination, challenging their little fingers to follow the lines or use their tools properly. Some examples of manipulative play are:

  • Coloring, especially in a defined area
  • Paper crafts and art involving moving parts that need to be "put together"
  • Using a safe and simple tool kit to help with tasks around the house

Cutting out a sunshine for the window or painting within the lines — all these activities are the perfect exercise for this type of play.

QuietQuiet Play
Play that keeps children's mouths shut but their minds open. Playtime for children should have the opportunity to be quiet — the playtime for which adults are sometimes grateful! Children need quiet time to intently digest the items in their learning environment, like books and puzzles. Quiet play provides children an opportunity to think and reason and can include such activities as:

  • Beading a necklace
  • Working on puzzles
  • Reading or looking at pictures

By providing a silent environment, children can focus on their toys and playthings and really get down to the work of being a child. After all, play is the work of children!

Back to the Resources section.