Find out about the role of play in your child’s brain development
Being an essential part of childhood, playing has an integral role in your child’s acquisition and development of communication skills.1,2 While infants explore their world through their senses, toddlers engage in pretend play through imitation. Young children engage more and more in play activities with their peers, exploring the world around them and developing their motor skills.1
While playing, your child engages in looking, listening, touching, tasting and moving which enables him/her to connect with what is seen, heard, tasted or touched. Play can help in stimulating child brain development by influencing cognitive, physical, motor, social, and emotional development via sensory connections.3
Here’s how play can help stimulate child brain development:
- First step to literacy: As they play, your children practice new sounds or words and exercise their imagination through storytelling2
- Learning through play: Be it shaking a rattle, peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek, play nurtures development and fulfils a baby’s inborn need to learn2
- Making a choice: Having enough toys or activities to choose from allows children to express themselves and pick what they like2
- Improves motor skills: Playing provides space for your toddlers to practice physical movement, agility, coordination and balance while testing their own limits.1,2
- Cultivates mathematical skills: While playing, children participate in problem solving activities through investigation and discovery, while exploring cause and effect through an active experience1
- Neurological development: Playing with peers provides your children with a lot of sensory stimulation which is absorbed and integrated into core brain development1
- Developing a provincial early childhood learning strategy. Available from: http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/earlychildhood/literature_review.pdfAccessed on: June 15, 2017.
- National Literacy Trust. 10 reasons why play is important. Available from: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/talk_to_your_baby/news/2332_10_reasons_why_play_is_importantAccessed on: June 15, 2017.
- Figueroa A. Connecticut’s Guidelines for the Development of Infant and Toddler Early Learning. Available from: http://www.ct.gov/dss/lib/dss/dss_early_learning_guidelines.pdfAccessed on: June 15, 2017.