top of page

What is a 'schema' and why are they important?

What is a schema?

It’s a repeated pattern of behaviour that helps your child to make links in their brain, shaping how they make sense of the world. It supports them to explore and develop their ideas through play and exploration. Each child is different and some may display more schemas than others. It’s important to provide open-ended opportunities for schematic play as it helps children build up skills for later in life.

The 9 types of schemas:


It’s all about how they, or things, move. Think throwing food off the side of a high chair. For older children this is jumping in puddles or playing with running water.


How things turn or spin. Riding around on bikes, spinning ribbons, etc.


Joining lines or structures to form an enclosure. Making fences for toys, arranging food around the outside of a plate.


This one is to do with concealing. Building dens, covering themselves, filling bags.


Filling pockets or containers with objects. They then place them around the environment.


Joining things up, tying them together.


Lining things up, putting them one on top of each other, grouping things together.


Looking from different viewpoints. Standing on a ledge, looking between legs.


This one is all about how things change.

Keen to help them with schemas? Download our Toddler Play eBook for ideas and tips for each one.

97 views0 comments


bottom of page