Play is essential to younger children’s early development as it contributes to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being. Play offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children and teach them about the world around them during this pivotal early stage of their development that occurs in their first 18 months. This holiday season, put a festive spin on the games you play with your baby to delight and engage them.

1. Sensory Play

Babies and toddlers seek to explore their environment as they begin to develop a greater understanding of their surroundings and do so through all five senses, taste, touch, sound, sight and smell.

Introduce them to new textures, while teaching them about Christmas by letting them hold and touch the decorations on your Christmas Tree as you decorate. This will give them the chance to recognise different shapes and colours. You can also teach them what each decoration is so that they will begin to recognise some new words.

 

2. Dance and Freeze

Play some of your favourite holiday tunes and instruct your little one to bop while the music plays and freeze when it stops. Not only is it a fun, upbeat activity but this also helps refine their coordination and reflexes. This game is sure to get them giggling and they will love having the opportunity to mirror your movements!

 

 

3. Ball Play

Ball play is a wonderful means of improving your child’s motor skills and developing their hand eye coordination. Select a ball that is specifically designed for infants and incorporates different textures, preferably with a fun holiday pattern for an element of festive spirit.

Show them how to gently roll the ball back and forth between the two of you. This will teach them concentration, team work and spatial awareness skills, while also presenting a wonderful bonding opportunity.

 

4. Rhyme Time

Young children love to listen to the voices of people they know and are also fascinated and intrigued by new sounds. Reciting nursery rhymes, kids poems and songs to your child helps them become more familiar with sounds, pitch and words.

By introducing your little one to some fun holiday kids songs, poems, rhymes and tongue twisters, you will support their language capabilities and memory skills.

Rhyme time can be held anytime and anywhere, making it a great way to keep your baby engaged and entertained while you are on the go.

Play allows children to utilise their creativity, while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical skills. It’s through play that children engage and interact with the world around them, learning new skills and making new discoveries, so make sure to maximise playtime with your baby this holiday season!

 

To discover more about how play helps boosts your child’s confidence and improve an array of vital skills, read our blog post on How Play Can Effect Your Child’s Development here

 

 

 

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