Advice from Canpol's experienced mothers.
Playing is an integral part of a child's life. Have you ever wondered how it affects our children, especially during infancy? How to make sure that a game that we encourage our baby to participate in helps his development? And if it does help, what is its role?
You help your infant play
You help him by choosing games and ways of spending time, buying his first toys. Such purchases should be well-considered. Toys should develop your child's skills. This doesn't mean that they should only be expensive, refined toys from a shop. They can just as well be items for everyday use, used in an unconventional way. What's important is that you also participate actively in the game, because your child discovers his environment, closest people and himself thanks to you. You stimulate your infant's brain through everyday games. If you take care of your child's development today, it might have an influence in his school success in the future. Sounds serious and responsible? Don't worry!The advantage of child's development through playing is that everything takes place in a fun, affectionate and safe atmosphere.
You stimulate senses through playing
By playing games with your child you stimulate the senses of touch, hearing and sight. Stroking, cuddling, discovering new textures, and massages stimulate the sense of touch. Playing with a rattle or other object stimulates the sense of hearing. Hanging a mobile which the baby can follow with his eyes above the cot affects his sense of sight. The baby discovers the world thanks to his senses, therefore it's good to stimulate them through playing. You know from your own experience that if you don't know something well, you first observe it from the distance and then begin to investigate it with your touch, trying to find out if it makes a sound or not. Our toddlers act the same - they investigate everything that is new to them. Such "investigations" provide them with new experience.
Games help children discover
Thanks to games children not only discover the world, their living environment, but most of all themselves. Physical activites develop the child's understanding of his body and space. The development of psychomotor abilities during infancy is very important, therefore replace tedious exercises with fun activities. It's advisable to encourage the development of both gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills of the whole body can be developed e.g. by competing on an obstacle course or playing tag on all fours. Fine motor skills, on the other hand, can be developed by games which involve the baby tearing up paper or pouring something from A to B. Remember that even the smallest activities can have a positive effect on the development of your toddler's motor skills.
Improving your child's hand-eye coordination
Playing games also affects the development of hand-eye coordination. How to do it? Hand-eye coordination can be improved through all kinds of games with balls, depending on our child's age. Small children can try to catch colourful balls floating in the bath, and put them into a bucket. Older children can kick, roll and throw all kinds of balls. Invent new, fun versions of games and you will see that what is so complicated in the beginning, soon becomes easy as a child's play.
Playing can also involve reading the baby nursery rhymes or children's books. Such activities have a strong influence in your child's speech in the future. How? Although your child can't talk yet, reading aloud provides him with a correct speech model. You can help your baby in learning new words by reading to him and showing him e.g. parts of the body which are mentioned in the rhyme.
The most important advantage of playing together is that it gives your baby a feeling of safety. Games develop his relationships with the people closest to him and help him build bonds. By playing with your child you not only take care of his needs, but also benefit from it yourself - if you just trust your intuition and engage yourself in playing with your child, instead of holding back and trying to think of elaborate games.