Play Value

Technique 92 – Use the four attributes of play value to invite your child into the wonderful world of play.

Something interesting to

1. See

2. Touch

3. Interact

4. Experience surprise

The best toy in the world is of no value if nobody wants to play with it. It could be fantastic looking and expensive, but if it lacks play value, no one will play with it. Play value means that it has to have the real qualities that attract play.


Parenting Insight…

Measure any unformed toy against these qualities, and you will see the picture clearly. For example, take a set of blocks. Whether in colors, natural wood, or some other material, they are always interesting to see and touch; and they are there for playing alone or for playing and interacting with others. About surprise, it is built right into the play. What will your child make? Nobody knows until he or she makes it. Your child may choose to make the same thing over and over, or he or she may decide to create something new each time. It is a totally freeform activity, and it fully belongs to your child.

Here is a list of high play value easily accessible toys and materials. Many include making the toy as part of the play. As with all toys for children, keep your eye on your child at all times to ensure their safe usage. Always be on the lookout for objects that are too small for your child and that could be swallowed.



Building sets

Putty, clay, and play dough

Pegs and pegboards

Beads for stringing

Dolls (male and female)

Dried beans in homemade beanbags

Sock puppets

Puppets made out of tongue depressors or other flat wooden sticks

Puppets made out of paper bags

Unbreakable mirrors

Old telephones

Old clothes

Old jewelry

Butterflies made out of coffee filters

Flower carnations made out of filters


April! The Month of Volunteering

I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.

~ Pablo Casals

Spanish musician


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