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A child’s environment influences the way they play.  Structure or lack thereof has a significant effect. Additionally, the size of the play space and their familiarity with it has effects.  To some extent, the qualities of the atmosphere can even define the way kids will play.

In a wide open space, such as a gym, it’s easy to imagine a group of kids running and yelling in utter chaos. On the opposite end, kids playing in a small place (like a secret hideout) results in quieter, more imaginative play. This means that physical activity increases as the size of the play place increases.

Their social environment (number of people present, rules, how safe they feel) is another factor in play. Children tend to withdraw when it’s too crowded and engage in more physical activity when an adult isn’t present. Sensory features, like lighting and smells and how complex the materials are also impact children’s play. Consider all of these factors that go into play and how they will likely impact children when thinking playtime.

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