Every parent knows that children learn most by playing. Through play, children learn how to explore their lives, peers and surroundings, how things work and the difference between success and failure. Within boundaries and under supervision, children can also learn how to take risks, build relationships, make friends and use their imaginations. The best thing is that your child will learn all of these things without even realizing it.
Playing at home, holding a pretend tea party or dressing up are all great games for helping to build and develop a child’s imagination and verbal skills as well as learning how to create and interpret stories. It’s also excellent fun, especially when played alongside other children or with grown-ups.
Using empty boxes, toilet-roll tubes and empty containers to create all sorts of weird and wonderful models will help promote your child’s creative side, imagination, motor skills, and build a sense of achievement. Sticking, gluing, painting and messy art should all be encouraged so a play mat is a great idea.
Use musical instruments or everyday household items to make lots of noise and learn about sounds, listening and communication. This also helps to build confidence and coordination and the ability to recognize patterns and numbers.
Why not have a color day? For example, you could have a “green day” which involves wearing green clothes, eating green foods, exploring the grass and leaves outdoors, talking about green animals or drawing a green picture. The list is endless! This activity will, of course, help with color recognition and concentration.
Playing with Toys
Educational toys combine learning and play. You can use everything from baby laptops to books, building blocks and bikes. However, almost every toy will be educational to a small child. For example, the Fisher Price Little People range is a collection of cute and colorful figurines and play sets for children aged one or over that will help to develop their imagination while acting out stories and having lots of fun.
Encouraging your baby or child to play and pretend will help them to learn skills and discover talents that will remain with them throughout their life. So, don that dress-up outfit, pop on the imaginary kettle and settle down for a fantastic make-believe tea party—it’s all good for your child’s development!
Written By: Vicky Williams
Published: June 2013