How Play For Babies And Toddlers Is Important For Their Development
Even the youngest children love to play.
Play might not be the first thing on your list when you’re busy changing dirty diapers and getting up for 4 AM feedings. However, even the smallest forms of play early on are important for your baby’s development.
Simple forms of play are ideal for babies and toddlers. It gives them a developmental boost that helps them the rest of their lives. Plus, what’s more fun than making babies laugh?
Play Starts At The Beginning
Play begins from day one. While your newborn can’t play with toys and run around like a toddler would, they still benefit from being talked to and shown new things. To them, this is play because it’s helping them to discover the world around them. This early form of play helps form a foundation for them to continue learning and socializing.
Play Affects Social, Emotional And Mental Development
The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights considers play to be a basic right of every child because it’s so important to child development. All those little things you do with your child helps them in the future. For instance, consider the following:
- Splashing in water while taking a bath helps develop basic motor skills
- Reading to your child helps develop their language skills, even before they can speak
- Playing with crayons helps toddlers start learning how to write and comprehend
- Puppet shows start teaching important social skills
While these might seem minuscule, they’re major milestones for babies and toddlers as they learn to thrive in the world around them. Play isn’t just something kids do for fun, especially at this young of an age. Play is a type of exploration that helps them develop emotionally, socially and mentally.
Play Boosts Brain Development
A shocking 75% of brain development happens after birth. This is why play for babies and toddlers matters. The earlier you start, the better it is for their development. Babies are eager to learn any and everything. After all, they start as a blank slate and it’s up to you to help them develop through playful interactions.
Play Is How Kids Grow
Think of early play like school. Each grade builds upon what a child learned in the previous grade. The same goes with play. The types of games change over time, but that’s just because they’re building on the skills they’ve already developed from earlier forms of play.
Remember, it’s never too early for children to start playing. Whether it’s playing with you or themselves, play is a vital developmental tool.