What we call playing is really the way babies and children learn. With toys and their imaginations they practise all the skills they’ll need as they grow up. The more they play, the more they learn and the best thing about it is that they love it.
Young children find it hard to play alone. They need attention from someone who can play with them. Gradually they’ll learn to entertain themselves for some of the time, but first they need to learn how to do that.
What’s your favourite games?
Idea’s for Play
Rattles (From 4 months) – Babies love sounds and movement, shake the baby’s rattle and move it in front of your baby, watch them following it and look at the colours and listen to the new different sounds. Pass the rattle to your baby he or she may try to shake it themselves. Organic rubber teethers are great for babies who are starting to teethe, they really soothe baby’s sore gums and you know your baby is chewing on a safe toy – completely PVC, BPA and Phthalate free.
Water Play (from 12 months) – Young children never tire of playing with water. Give your child lots of props for their large bowl of water and they will be content for hours. Place the large bowl of water in a shady part of the garden. Ensure your child has their swimmers on because they are going to get wet! Provide lots of bath toys for their bowl of water and your child will have a great time. For a change, add some food colouring to the water – this way they can see the water clearly as they pour and measure. Remember, however, that young children must ALWAYS be supervised near water.
Colourful Playdough (From 18 months) – Make up a batch of simple cooked playdough for your child. It will keep them occupied for ages and provide a great outlet for their creativity.
1 cup of plain flour – 1 cup of water – Half cup of cooking salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar – 1 tablespoon cooking oil
Food colouring or powder paints – wooden spoon
Saucepan – Chopping board – Plastic containers
Divide the dough into at least six balls and add a different colour to each ball until you have blue, red, yellow, green, purple and orange playdough. (If you want plain playdough, omit the colouring).
Put each colour into a separate container and encourage your child to create playdough pictures, or figures or pretend to cook. When they have finished, help them sort the colours to put back in their containers for another day, rather than mixing them all together (store in the fridge). Happy modelling! DO NOT allow your child to eat the playdough.
Dress Ups (from 2 years) – Dressing up is an important part of young children’s play. Provide a variety of dressing up clothes for them and watch them use their imaginations. Collect clothes and props and put in a box. Family and friends may have hats, wigs, beads and old clothes they no longer want. You may have to take up hems, or thread elastic through waistbands to make them smaller, and replace buttons with Velcro. This way, their dressing up play need not always involve an adult. The dressing up collection might include beads, bangles, shorts, T-shirts, ties, belts, dresses, skirts, shoes, purses, scarves, shawls and sunglasses. When choosing accessories and clothes ensure they can be put on easily and worn safely.
For information on kids activities click on the following link: www.dltk-kids.com
For information on Australian Toy Safety, please click on the following link: Fair Trading – Toy Safety
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