When you are an adult, playing games is something you do in your spare time. It helps you relax or keeps you entertained until you have something more important to do. However, when it comes to children, playing is important as much as anything else.
It is crucial to a kid’s learning and development, it can skyrocket your child’s creativity, and it can help your little one build confidence, feel loved, happy and safe. When playing with you, your kid can learn about caring for others and the environment as well as develop important physical skills.
Naturally, as your child grows older the ways he or she plays will change. In time your little one will experiment more with toys and games and need more time to play. If you are interested in how playing can benefit your child, here is a list of activities that will improve your kid’s development from their baby months to school-age years.
Playing with babies
Do you know what your baby’s favorite toy is? You. Just looking at your face, listening to the sound of your voice and watching you smile is play for your new bundle of joy. If you want to try some other activities with your little one, you can play music and sing to your baby while gently tapping on their tummy.
This way you will promote the development of your kid’s hearing and movement. When we think about babies, one of the first games that come to our mind is definitely peekaboo, which can benefit your kid’s social and emotional development. Also, putting objects of different sizes and colors near your child can encourage them to reach and grasp. You can also put them in their urbini stroller and go for a nature walk.
Playing with toddlers
From the age of one to the age of three, you should play with your little one using cardboard boxes, buckets, blow-up balls, chalk and rope. This way you will encourage your kid to build, push, drag, jump and kick, therefore helping them improve their motor skills. On the other hand, objects such as hoops, boxes or pillows are great for climbing, balancing, twisting or rolling. In order to improve your kid’s imagination you can play dress-up games and by teaching your child to draw you can help them express themselves and their creativity. Also, taking your toddler to a playground where there are tunnels can encourage physical activities like crawling and exploring.
Playing with preschoolers
Engaging in fun activities with your child will not only help you better understand your little one’s interests, feelings and thoughts and help you easily communicate to him/her, but it will get your kid’s mind and body going. The best thing about playing with your kid is that you really don’t need expensive toys. In fact, old things you have around the house such as empty milk containers, wooden spoons, empty pot plant containers, sticks and old clothes are all you need for imaginative, unstructured play. If you want to work on your kid’s memory and concentration, solve puzzles together and play matching games. Clay and playdough can do wonders for your child’s fine motor skills, while letting your little one play with a ball will encourage kicking, throwing or rolling. Keep in mind that when teaching your kid how to play catch or kick a ball, you should get him/her to use one side of the body, then the other.
Playing with school-age kids
What was your favorite game when you were a kid? For a lot of children building a tent out of old blankets, sheets, boxes, and furniture is definitely one of the most fun things to do. While this activity can boost your little one’s creativity, including them in meal preparation is great for developing numeracy and everyday skills.
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Play can benefit your kid in so many ways. Through play, your child can develop confidence and self-esteem, good physical coordination, focus, creativity, and independence as well as prepare themselves for adulthood.