As adults we have forgotten how to play, or maybe we never played as children and so playing with our own children is a bit of a mystery. You may remember times when you played all day long and entered into worlds that were full of adventure and fun.
Play is a broad term and within play there are many types of play. For example, gross motor play is play using the whole body (or large muscles) and you can see this type of play when children jump, run, roll, skip, climb, throw balls etc. Fine motor play is activities such as threading, drawing, cutting, and using the hands. Some other types of play are: sensory play (eg, water, sand play), visual perception play (eg, puzzles, mazes) and auditory play (eg, listening games, I spy).
Pretend play, also called imaginative play, make-believe play, representational play, and fantasy play, is when a child pretends objects are something else, they are someone else, and they create play scenarios. This type of play, particularly for children under 3 years of age, is easy to miss or dismiss as unimportant.