The first few years of your child shape his future and his adulthood. This is the stage where most of the learning and brain development takes place. These crucial years of your little one should be dealt well. From birth to age five, the brain develops itself in the areas of language, emotions and movement (physical activity).
Playing is very beneficial for your child! It not only keeps your child engaged but it plays a very vital role in his learning and brain development. Toddlers can develop many skills and expand their imaginations by playing.
Playing improves your child’s memory and learning skills because of continuous stimulation which expands the cerebral cortex. It ignites the creativity in your little one by playing in sand or by building blocks he can come up with so many ideas and can have divergent thinking. Pretend play can improve your child’s communication skills as well. He can learn new words and improve his vocabulary in a much better way because of imitation, observation and understanding. Play can regulate your child’s emotions as well. He will learn how to share his toys with others or how to wait for his turn or how to perform a task within a calculated amount of time which will regulate his emotions effectively. It is the best time to instill your little one with the habit of cleaning or taking care of his belongings (toys etc).
You can provide your kid with a number of items to play with other than just stuffed toys. For example, sand, water colors, color pencils, building blocks etc to enhance his imagination. Let your little one splash water! It will help him to learn about basic science. Get him blocks, puzzles or flash cards to increase his learning and basic math. Read bed time stories to him to increase his vocabulary. These can be done indoor, if we talk about outdoor games then running, cycling, playing with ball, taking swings or hide and seek etc maintain your child’s physical health and co-ordination skills.
You should not be forcing your child to play! Play should be fun. He should find ways to create games so that he can explore himself. You should also not compare your baby’s skills with the other children as everyone has a different capacity of learning. Playing in early childhood will lay the foundation for his school education and will also give you the opportunity to fully engage with your little one.
Author: Ume Laila