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PLAYING: Why Play Is Good For Baby's Body and Mind

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Why Play Is Good For Baby's Body and Mind

Your little one is bursting with energy from dusk till dawn and loves making new discoveries.  We will explore the importance of playing for children and some ideas for having fun together.

3 mins to read Aug 22, 2017

Your little one is bursting with energy from dusk 'til dawn and loves making new discoveries. Your attention might be focused primarily on avoiding injury; however  it is also a sign of normal psychomotor development.

A game for every age

Babies love playing from very early on and above all to discover new games. Look how they laugh out loud when you play "Peekaboo" with them at 3 months!  At around 7 or 8 months, their new game is throwing their favourite toy on the floor over and over again. They think it's really funny to see you pick it up every time. They also love playing horsey on your knee or knocking over piles of building blocks.

At around 9 to 10 months, babies are often off on all fours! This gives them significant room to explore . They reach out to everything they see and pull themselves up on the furniture, an exploit to be proud of.

As soon as babies start walking, they are in a hurry to discover new things and there's no stopping them. Walking backwards, jumping, going up and down the stairs, each day brings new progress.  Motor skill development enhances their physical ability - balance, agility, tonicity - but also their sensory ability and self-confidence.

Come play with me

At around 6 months, a baby's attention span is of a few minutes only.  They love playing puppets with their hands or “Peekaboo”, but there is no point playing with them for hours on end, as you may tire them out.

At around 2 years, a child's attention span is longer… on the condition that you do not always play the same game. You can use your imagination to alternate quiet games with more intense activities. Don't forget to take a break from time to time so they don't get overexcited.

At this age, children love playing with anything they find. Their greatest pleasure lies in banging on their building blocks with a spoon or playing picnic with plastic tubs from the kitchen. You sometimes wonder what the point of giving them real toys is!

To develop their agility, you can build an obstacle course using cushions, toys, cardboard boxes for your child to climb over, crawl through and under. Ball games, swimming, hide and seek, the tricycle and bike riding are also very good activities for developing physical ability at this age.

Baby gyms

From 2 or 3 years (or even 1 year depending on the activity), your child can start attending the baby gym.   This is a good way of enabling them to let off steam away from home if you are lucky enough to have such a club near to where you live.  It obviously does not involve an intense workout or games with strict rules, but rather helps with the development of young ones, encouraging body awareness through a range of games and activities especially for little ones.

The aim of these sessions is not to turn your baby into a little champion, but to help them become more skillful and precise in their movements. In this way they develop their balance, coordination and reactivity, but also self-confidence, respect for others and a team spirit, all essential for their future!