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The 3 C's of PLAY

Formulated by Yolonda Deon Tyler, The Three C's of Play—Community, Creativity, and Cognitive Development—form a comprehensive framework that captures the essence of the play experience. Together, they shape and define the multifaceted aspects of PLAY:


A feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

From the moment we began to PLAY as children, we started to create our community. From interactions with family to interactions with other people outside of the home, the social interactions we encounter from the start of our life begin to shape and create the community we will imagine for ourselves for years to come


The use of the imagination or original ideas.

PLAY produces some of the most interesting ideas and concepts. However simplistic PLAY seems to you, there is an entire complex symphony that can happen in your universe as you PLAY. When we use our imagination during PLAY, we learn empathy; we learn to regulate our emotions and to problem-solve.  This is where our personalities are truly created and goals are constructed.


The process through which an individual acquires knowledge, comprehension, problem-solving skills, and the capacity for abstract thinking.

Cognitive skill development involves the progressive building of skills, such as attention, memory, and thinking. These skills allow us to process sensory information and encourage us to evaluate, analyze, remember, make comparisons, and understand cause and effect. Although some cognitive skill development is related to our genetic makeup, most cognitive skills are learned. That means thinking and learning skills can be improved with practice and the right training.

The Three C's synergize to encapsulate the holistic nature of PLAY. Community underscores the social dimension, emphasizing shared experiences. Creativity highlights the imaginative and emotional facets, fostering empathy and problem-solving. Cognitive Development brings in the intellectual aspect, showcasing the progressive acquisition of skills. Together, they weave a rich tapestry that defines the essence of PLAY—a dynamic, transformative process that shapes individuals, their relationships, and their intellectual capabilities.

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