Play development

August 20, 2015
 
Learning through play is fun!  Young children make sense of the world through play. When we play with our children, we stimulate learning and language development.
 
As children grow their play behavior develops and transitions through many stages. Infants begin by exploring objects. During the toddler years play advances to using toys and objects for a purpose, such as building a road with blocks. Pretend play begins to develop next as children start to use make-believe and storytelling. Advanced levels of play become more rule-oriented and structured. 
 
Allow plenty of time for "free play." Make this time a pressure free with no structured expectations. Just play, talk, and provide lots of positive feedback. Help you child discover new ways to play with a favorite toy.  Adult: "Wow, you threw the ball. Look, I'm bouncing the ball." or "You're pouring the sand out. I'm going to make a sand castle." As your child's play skills develop so will the types of activities you can introduce such as rhyming games, pretend play, and follow the leader.
 
Play is the best time to have fun and teach your child.  Let your imagination run wild and help your child explore the world around them!