How do I make my child’s development fun and active?
Playtime is not only a chance to have fun, but it is also of great importance when it comes to our children’s development.
Why is playtime important?
Through play, children learn about the world and themselves. During the early childhood years, the development of cognitive skills, emotional well-being, and social competence builds the foundation for success later in adulthood.
- Stimulate the imagination and encourage creativity
- Enhance gross and fine motor skills, coordination, balance, and build muscles
- Teach children how to share and take turns
- Teach skills such as negotiation and conflict resolution
- Teach children to play with others and form meaningful relationships
In this blog post, we will give you some ideas on how to make your child’s development fun and active:
Physical play helps develop children's balance and overall coordination and builds healthy muscles and bones. But it is not only the physical aspects of a child’s body that benefit from physical play. It also improves mental health and well-being. Exercise and movement are proven to be fantastic ways to exercise mindfulness, and this sets children up for healthy mental behaviors in the future.
Further, it boosts confidence and self-esteem and builds emotional intelligence. Active play with other children often entails tight bonds and long-lasting friendships.
For newborns, physical play can be as simple as tummy time. Tummy time is important for your baby's development as it helps to build the muscles your baby needs for sitting and crawling.
As the child gets older you can implement more physical pursuits like football, jumping on a trampoline, dancing, biking, etc.
When playing with an object such as a toy, children are using their sensory-motor skills to explore its properties.
Stacking toys are great for developing the child’s motor skills. Picking up and putting objects in place train the child’s hand muscles and muscle control. But stacking not only improves children’s fine motor skills, but also develops better eye-hand coordination, and depth perception, and learn children of spatial perception (like under and on). They also help children with the laws of physics, such as gravity and balance. Overall, they are a great learning tool.
Playing outside gives your child the chance to explore the natural environment, and lets children use all their senses to build skills like spatial awareness and balance. If you have an outdoor space at home all you need to do is send your child out the door and let them, come up with their own games, use their imagination and let them enjoy the freedom an outside space provides. If you do not have an outdoor space at home, visit your local park or playground. Here your child will probably have even more space to move around, and there might be other children to play with.
Pretend play lets children develop their imagination and creativity, as they experiment with different social roles. It supports social and emotional development as they pretend to be different people. This helps develop their ability to take others' perspectives and develop empathy. Through pretend play they learn how to recognize and respond to others’ feelings when involved in group activities.
Further, pretend play is a great way to expose your child to new vocabulary and develop their language skills.
Encourage pretend play by playing together with your child face-to-face so that the child can copy your behavior and facial expressions and take turns when you play together with a back-and-forth conversation. You can also introduce new ideas and expose your child to new experiences to initiate new themes for the play and thereby help develop the child’s imagination even further.