Play is like a good food for children. It helps them develop such skills as social and emotional skills, creativity, and a healthy body and mind.
A child’s brain develops faster than any other time, by the age of 5. In fact, 90% of your child’s brain will develop in this time!
Children are naturally playful! Play helps them:
- Learn about their world
- Learn how to solve problems
- Become confident
- Develop physically
- Learn to get along with others
- Deal with feelings
Parent’s and caregivers are a child’s first and most important teachers! Make toys, books, and other play things readily available for the child in your care. Be sensitive to your child’s individual needs. At different ages, children need different things. Be sure to give you child time to play, alone, with you and with other children. Allow children to lead and follow their lead. Watch and wait and support children to help them play. Be creative with play and most importantly, have fun!
Play with your birth to one year old:
- Talk to your baby. Imitate the sounds they make.
- Play a game of peek-a-boo
- Listen to different kinds of music. Your baby loves to hear you sing!
- Explore a ball or other objects that have different colours or textures.
Play with your one to two year old:
- Take turns playing running, climbing and action games.
- Have fun with rhyming words by singing songs and reading books. Dance or play an instrument (pots make great drums).
- Use hands to push buttons, open boxes, turn keys, colour, finger paint, mould play dough, squeeze water from a sponge, etc.