How to engage your children and play more effectively?

The 8 Different Play Personalities - How to engage your children and play more effectively?

Play is a natural way for children to learn about the world around them and every child has an unique play personality which influences how they play and interact with others. These play personalities are often a reflection on how they see themselves and how they want to be seen by others. While some children have a dominant play personality, most of them have a mixture of these play personalities. 

Sometimes, it can be tough for us to truly connect with our children in a more meaningful play when they are engaged in a different form of play than the one we are expecting or familiar with. Hence, at Astrofys, we thought it would be useful to share the 8 different play personalities that Dr. Brown wrote in his book “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul”. By understanding the different play personalities, it will help us connect with our children in a more meaningful way. And, we can use this knowledge to help children feel more confident about themselves and the things that they enjoy doing.


astrofys play personalities

The Joker

The kid typically loves to laugh and make others laugh. Play to them revolves around silliness and making others laugh. They may engage in play through telling jokes, doing funny impersonations, or playing practical jokes. Anything that gets the giggles going.

Possible Activities To Do Together:

  • Watch a comedy 
  • Draw a comic strip
  • Plan a prank/trick on others

The Kinesthete

The kid is usually active, always doing something, always in motion. They experience pleasure in movement and enjoy pushing their bodies to new limits. Play takes the form of running, dancing, soccer, swimming and anything that keeps them moving. They have the best fun whenever they use their bodies for play.

Possible Activities To Do Together:

  • Family hiking trip 
  • Outdoor sports
  • Jungle gym

The Explorer

The kid is enthusiastic about, and engages in play by exploring the world around them. Exploration can be in a few different forms - physically by going to new places, emotionally through search for a deepening of emotion through music, art or movement, or mentally via researching a new area of interest or reading a book. They seek newness, novelty and crave the fun feeling of adventure.

Possible Activities To Do Together:

The Competitor

The kid loves to win and thrives on competition. They often find ways to raise the stakes on any mundane tasks and have fun introducing contests or any element of competition. They participate in competitive games with specific rules and enjoy the thrill of winning. Often, we only associate competition with the conventional team sports but the competitive spirit can be woken up through solitary games too. Try beating the top score in the computer game!

Possible Activities To Do Together:

The Director

The kid enjoys organizing, orchestrating events, bringing people together and planning out others’ roles. These skill sets may seem too advanced for their age but look out for tell-tale signs such as list making, box-checking, coordinating, bossing, etc. They derived real joy from bringing people together, being in charge and directing the experience beginning to end.

Possible Activities To Do Together:

The Collector

The kid experiences joy through finding, gathering, sorting, and collecting things. They often collect the most interesting things or experiences that fascinates them. For them, fun is collecting objects and experiences that contribute to a deeper personal meaning and feeling. They may also enjoy organizing and showing off their collections.

Possible Activities To Do Together:

  • Visit a flea market
  • Provide opportunities to showcase
  • Create and document memories

The Artist/Creator      

The kid is often seen creating and making things. They usually engage in activities such as drawing, building or sculpting, painting, singing, knitting, gardening, woodworking, or any number of creative endeavors. They take joy in creating, fixing or making something work. Don't be surprised to find the little decorations and artifacts that may be on display in their bedroom. 

Possible Activities To Do Together:

  • Explore new art medium
  • Cook/ Bake together 
  • Try mixed media art 

The Storyteller

The kid is extremely imaginative and loves to be creative. Their play focuses on imagination and transporting themselves to a new world. They usually enjoy reading novels, writing, or watching movies and theater. These little storytellers enjoy being immersed in a story, experiencing the thoughts and emotions of characters in the stories.

Possible Activities To Do Together:

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