Child development play activities are designed to guide parents and carers into learning how they can best promote meaningful and creative play with their children.
Parents and carers who play and talk with their children regularly, on the floor at their level, following the child’s lead, make the best intellectual and emotional companions.
It is important to let your child be the learner and play with your child when you are feeling patient and relaxed.
Child development plays activities discussed by Helene Goldnadel:
- Make sure your child is in the mood for play and wants to be actively involved.
Provide safe areas where there is great opportunity to explore with a variety of play materials.
- Have play materials organized so your child can find them and safe enough so they can explore them freely.
- Set up an exploratory environment where you won’t have to say “no” all the time.
Variety of toys is more important than quantity. Rotate different toys and play materials weekly and move them from one room to another every so often.
- Provide your child with a range of different experiences, they need to get out and about. Go to the park, library, pool, shops, friends house, the zoo. Child development play activities need culture and exposure to feed the imagination.
- Expose your child also to a variety of people and children. This doesn’t mean they have to go to daycare to achieve this. You can accompany them to playgroups, mother’s groups, fun swimming/music/dancing lessons, friends houses and so on.
- Anything that provides a change of people, scenery and experience is excellent for child development play.
- At any age, activities need lots of repetition to connect neural networks for mastery. Young children love repetition, which helps concepts sink in.
- For babies, place a variety of toys just out of reach so they can choose which toys to grasp and investigate.
- Try to keep restraints such as playpens and strollers to a minimum when is a safe area. These can inhibit child development play opportunities.
- Look through magazines for creative project ideas, modify them to suit what resources you have. Save some household materials for construction projects such as toilet rolls, tissue boxes and string.
- Examples of materials that help refine and organize sensory intake are easels and paints, clay, sand, play doh, water and finger paints. Try to buy materials that are washable so that you’re not worried about the mess.