Benefits of Playtime

​​​During play, your child will learn from the senses and about feelings. He or she will learn to problem-solve, and to use creativity and language.

Senses

  • Feeling the textures of woolly blankets, smooth sheets, fuzzy bears and bumpy carpets 
  • Seeing edges, bright colors, stripes and movement 
  • Becoming aware of sounds and relating sounds to their sources
  • Smelling wonderful things or smelling stinky things and making faces

Feelings

  • When a toy is very interesting, your baby feels content. 
  • When it is hidden, your baby gets curious or upset.
  • If a toy stops working, a child may feel frustrated – then relieved after you wind it up again.
  • It is not too early to talk or sign about those feelings. Take opportunities to build conversations.
  • You can comment on feeling your child experiences. ("You are curious. Uh-oh, you are upset. That surprised you.")​

Problem-Solving

  • If the circle block won't go into the square hole, your baby will learn to try a different hole. 
  • If a toy disappears, your baby will learn to look for it, move the box or paper bag it is hiding under, or ask for it. 
  • Later on, as children play together and disagree, they learn to use their language to reach a compromise. This is social problem solving, a key part of later play.

Creativity

Play is the beginning of creativity.

  • Soon your child will have many creative interests…in doll houses, play dough, construction toys, dress up and block and truck play.
  • When the stuffed pig snuffles at your child's tummy and the stuffed dog "barks", your child is discovering the exciting possibilities of pretend.
  • When the pan lid becomes a "hat" or the block goes to the ear like a cell phone…pretend and creativity has begun!


 

Learning Language

Play gives you and your child much to chat about!

  • Experiences in early life, especially exciting, interesting, or calming play experiences, give your baby things to talk or sign about.
  • The language that accompanies play will become the language of the family, the language of the community and the language of school.
  • Example: Starting up a conversation with your little one "on the phone"
    • "Is it Nana?" You can say, "hi Nana."
    • "Is Nana coming over?"
    • "Bye-bye, Nana."