Why stimulation and play important?
Stimulation and play help your child learn, through interaction with toys and people such as parents, siblings, and friends. This helps the brain make and strengthen the synapses. The more interesting and interactive the experiences, the greater the number of neurological connections your child can make, leading to intellectual, motor, emotion/social, and communication skills development.1
Parents who understand and support play that is appropriate for each age will nurture child development for continuous learning.
Above 1 year:
Children learn to play through their own actions, their interaction with people and objects around them. Parents can help children learn by talking, dancing and laughing with them and helping them explore the world around them. Suggested activities include playing peek-a-boo, singing nursery rhymes and reading picture books.
Children start to recognize the names of familiar people, objects, pictures, and body parts. Support your child’s imagination by providing toys that resemble real items such as cars and kitchen equipment. Toys such as building blocks and shape sorters will also encourage your child’s creativity.
Children have more physical development and motor skills. Children have a better understanding of the environment, and their imagination is wider and more complicated. In pretend play, children can perform social roles like mommy, daddy, teacher or doctor. This will help them understand the conditions, roles and importance of other people, so children can learn to share, exchange, and interact with others for optimal social experience. Encourage motor skill development through activities such as drawing and painting.
Actively stimulating your child every day helps strengthen brain connections. It is a simple key to achieve and accelerate learning.
1Brotherson, Sean (2005). FS-609 Bright Beginnings #4 – Understanding Brain Development in Young Children. NDSU Extension Service North Dakota State University.