From a very young age children begin to play to make sense of their bodies and the world through exploring and learning. Movement is primal and accompanies all the elements of play, but as children age other factors become important and each ‘play personality’ contains elements of sensory development, movement, language and emotional bonds. While your child may have a strong preference for certain types of play, most children are a mix of a few of these play personalities.
Hasbro’s Love at First Play Consultant Child Psychologist Laverne Antrobus says, “Science has shown us that a child’s play personality has a huge impact on the types of toys they will enjoy playing with and also the way they learn and develop”. While for most adults, ‘work’ and ‘play’ are separate pursuits, for children play is their work – instead of being just a fun break, it is in fact how they learn, both about the world and themselves.
The 8 Play Personalities developed to ensure Love at First Play are:
Does this kid ever sit still? A ball of energy, The Energiser is never happier than when running around letting off steam. Excitable, full of mischief and fun, your child is motivated by movement of all sorts. They may love playing sports, dancing and team games, but equally feel at home bouncing on a trampoline, playing lively games or battling with their friends. The type of child who gets tetchy if they have to stay indoors and can’t expend energy, The Energiser is fun to have around – just try to keep up!
Your child has a vivid imagination and loves to get creative during playtime. With a passion for toys that enable them to express their inner world, The Imagineer gets a huge thrill from enacting scenes and activities with their favourite toys, whether family or fantasy. Their love of arts and crafts means creating and decorating are always popular activities and getting messy are a big part of their play. Toys with a variety of accessories that enable hours of creative fun and multiple adventure outcomes are perfect for your imaginative child.
Is your child always asking questions and trying to work out what makes things tick? Fascinated by the world, the Discoverer gets a real kick out of exploring it and loves discovering the magic in everyday activities as well as experiencing new things. Toys that develop a curiosity about far-flung worlds, future technologies and science will help your child realise their potential and feel excited by the infinite possibilities at their fingertips.
Does your son or daughter love to play tricks? The Jokester’s biggest desire is to get up to mischief and fool everyone around them. Springing surprises and using clever strategies to bamboozle you, with The Jokester you never quite know what’s coming. Cheeky and quick-witted, whether a natural showoff or a sly operator your Jokester child is inspired by laughter and surprise – so let them explore it.
Bedtime is likely to be this child’s favourite part of the day because this dreamer loves a story book that transports them into another world. With a vivid imagination and a love of fantasy, The Enchanter’s first love is fantastic tales and different ways to tell them. With the ability to make themselves part of the story, they really feel the emotions of characters, love drama and can bring play and imagination into the most mundane activities.
Having protective instincts makes this child a caring type, who is also assertive and with a strong sense of responsibility. What The Leader loves most is to organise and take the lead when playing with their toys and friends. They love planning events and scenes and making them happen and The Leader feels quite comfortable playing the leading role. Play involving the survival and protection of the characters in their game will always keep them happy.
A thrill-seeker with a sense of adventure bar none, if your child falls into this category, they will love their favourite toys and games with a passion and tend to know exactly what they love to do most. Your Enthusiast may be a passionate gamer as well as a fan of funny YouTube Kids videos. They love collecting and knowing all about the different versions of a toy or game, sharing their passion with fellow enthusiasts.
When it comes to toys and games, this kid is in it to win it. Driven by a competitive instinct and the need to be faster and more dexterous than everyone else, The Champion simply loves finding ways to outwit opponents at all costs. Finding the answers, keeping score, knowing the rules and identifying strategies to outwit you – these are The Champion’s favourite things. Competing, winning and building empires is what motivates them and nothing else will do.