19 January 2023

The power of play - from the moment your baby is born

From the moment they are born, children are curious about their new world.   By exploring themselves and the people and world around them, children grow, develop and learn to express their needs.   And the best way you can help them? Through play!   The play experiences children have with you during their earliest years are crucial to their…, Newborn to 1 week old , Play:   Help your new baby learn by seeing and hearing you. Make sure their clothes aren’t covering their face or wrapped too tightly, so they can move freely and see you. Let them move their arms and legs and touch you.  Gently soothe, stroke and hold your baby. This sort of ‘skin-to-skin contact’ with your newborn boosts your emotional…, 1 week to 6 months old , Play:  Use colorful toys to play with your child. Toys like rattles, shakers, a big ring on a string, cups, wooden spoons and plastic bowls are likely to interest them. Slowly move the toys in front of your child and let them reach and grab them.   Babies will probably try and put toys in their mouths. They have sensitive mouths and learn…, 6 to 9 months old , Play:  Learn new noises with household items! At this age, children enjoy making noises by hitting, banging or dropping objects.   Give your child clean, safe (and non-valuable!) household items to play with, to help them learn about how objects fall and the sounds they make. (Plastic containers with lids, plastic cups, pots and plastic spoons are…, 9 to 12 months old , Play:   At this age, children enjoy simple interactive games. Here are some favourites:  Peek-a-boo: This is a fun and simple game to play with your young child. Cover your face with your hands or a cloth and then reveal yourself and say ‘peek-a-boo!’. Your child will giggle when you reappear.  Hide and seek: Hide your child’s favourite toy under…, 12 months to 2 years old  , Play:   Start stacking! Try giving your child simple items from around the house or outside to play with. Plastic bangles, tiffin boxes, empty food containers and plastic cups make great stacking toys.  Encourage your child to walk. Stand nearby, hold your arms out and encourage them to walk towards you.  Name what they are doing as they play the…, 2 years old and older , Play:   Help your child count, name and compare things. Your child may make mistakes at first but will learn from repeating.  Even as they grow, your child will still enjoy playing with simple, homemade toys like tiffin boxes and wooden spoons to bang on things with, plastic jars with stones inside to shake, and colourful cups to stack. Children…