Play, Play, Play
The fun of playtime is part of bonding with Baby. Together, you and Baby are sharing time as she discovers you are her favourite 'toy'. But of equal importance, play experiences will give Baby the opportunity to explore, develop skills and learn about herself and the world around.
Showing Baby that she is fun to be with builds on her self-esteem and through your encouragement and the stimulation of the home play environment, Baby's learning and development will be enhanced. For more information go to Development and Learning.
As Baby interacts with you and her environment she will thrive on her desire to have fun and learn, which leads to self-fulfilment. So playtime is a 'window of developmental opportunity' for Baby, with the important ingredient being YOU.
Note: Research consistently shows that children who have a home environment that encourages the fun of play and learning through the freedom of exploration and curiosity are more likely to acquire knowledge, skills and social development that prepares them for successful learning and favourable peer relationships in the school years compared to children whose home environment is structured, with parents pressuring their learning. As children develop, play enables them to use their imagination, negotiate with other children, work through frustrations and learn self-control. Play also buffers the effects of emotional upsets and trauma in children's lives.
Importantly, play needs to become part of a child's daily life in the developing years and parents need to allow time for it. Value this time with Baby, as you guide her through the pathway of life.