Children can be a mystery. Just like grown ups, they can be moody and have big feelings. But with kids, it’s hard for them to articulate and understand what’s on their mind (And this is sometimes a challenge for us adults too.). Instead of telling us, they show us. They act up, misbehave, have outbursts and shut down. Fortunately, another way they show us is through their play. Famous psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein and DW Winnicott have given us thoughtful ways to understand a child’s inner life. There are two things going on when kids play: They are expressing and fulfilling wishes and They are attempting to master the challenges of life. Some might add one more thing: Children play to avoid taking care of responsibilities. But I would argue that this is also a way of expressing a wish. — A wish to avoid responsibilities or difficult feelings. Let’s take a look at wishes and young children. When young children play, they act out all the things

Source: Understanding Your Child by Observing Their Play, Part 1: Wishes and Desires