As an Early Years Specialist, the one thing I tell everybody when asked about supporting early years development is the importance of PLAY. Play is vital for the early stages of brain development, helping children to co-ordinate their mental and physical capabilities. Through play, children develop problem-solving skills, language and observation skills, imagination and creativity, and memory and concentration. During play, children also learn how to build relationships.
Encouraging play is one of the best things you can do for your child, whatever their age. As parents and carers of very young children, our role during play is often required to be more ‘active’. As your child gets older, your role will change; you will start to take a step back and your child will play with friends or alone (this helps build their confidence and independence).
To help support your child to play in a high-level way, where learning really takes place:
- Ensure their environment is correct- screens off
- Set up play, so it is clear what your child should be playing with
- Allow your child to take the lead (and model alongside)
- Don’t put a time limit on play
- If you must stop your child playing, try to give plenty of warning so they can bring their own play to a close
Most of all, make sure you have FUN! By spending quality time with your child, you are demonstrating to them that they are important to you.
Do join our every growing Play Community and share your activities by tagging @mypowerfulplay in your photos. If you have a friend who you think may enjoy my activities, please do invite them to sign onto my mailing list too.
Happy playing from my home to yours,