Friday, February 3, 2023

Playing games with infants and toddlers strengthens bonds and develops their brains.

Playing responsive games with babies and toddlers helps them grow and learn in a healthy way.

Do you desire your child to develop into a healthy, happy, intelligent, capable, and resilient adult? Engage them in play. Games that are lively and adapt as the child grows are ideal for infants and toddlers.

Why is play important in the early years of life?
The brain's neural network expands by more than a million connections in the first few years of life. Additionally, these neuronal connections are made more effective by pruning. These procedures actually contribute to the development of the brain and help mold how it works for the remainder of the child's life. This is influenced by biology, primarily genetics, but also by a child's upbringing and experiences.

With attentive care, babies and kids flourish. The Harvard Center on the Developing Child coined the phrase "serve and return" to characterize this situation. Back-and-forth exchanges in which the child and carer respond to and engage with each other in a caring, loving way are the foundation of a healthy brain and a content child who will have a higher likelihood of developing into a healthy, content, capable, and successful adult.

One of the best methods to provide responsive care is through play. To increase the advantages of playing:
  • Bring all of your focus. Put down the phone and avoid multitasking.
  • Being reciprocal The "serve and return" component is this. You want to encourage interaction between newborns and their carers, even when they are little. The goal is to incorporate responsiveness into the play; it doesn't have to be reciprocal in an equal sense—you might be speaking in complete phrases while your baby is only smiling or cooing.
  • Be aware of developmental milestones. Your child will be able to participate fully, and you will be able to support their growth at the same time.
Great infant games to play: 6 to 9 months
Parents can get some fantastic suggestions and handouts from the Center for the Developing Child about certain games to play with their kids at various ages.

Children as young as 6 months and 9 months are acquiring the basics of the language, including mimicry. Additionally, they are beginning to learn how to move and explore their surroundings.

For this age group, try some of these games:

Play patty-cake or peek-a-boo.

Play games where you hide toys under a blanket, then you must "discover" them, or you can let the baby do it.

Have back-and-forth conversations. The infant may only make the sounds "ma" or "ba." You can respond by making the same noise or by acting as though your child is speaking ("You are silent! Really? Explain further! ").

Play imitation games. For instance, if your kid sticks out their tongue, copy them. Older infants will be able to imitate sounds like clapping or hammering, and they will like it when adults replicate those sounds with them.

Sing along to songs featuring motions, such as "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "Trot, Trot to Boston."

Play simple games with objects, like dumping them and saying "boom" or putting toys in a bucket and taking them out.

Fantastic games to play with toddlers
Young toddlers love to copy and develop greater language and motor abilities between the ages of 12 and 18 months.

  • Play with blocks by erecting straightforward structures and demolishing them all at once.
  • Play role-playing games with dolls or plush animals, or makeup phone calls.
  • Create small forts and places to climb and play by using pillows and blankets.
  • Play a simple game of hide and seek by hiding next to the baby behind a blanket.
  • Keep singing songs like "If You're Happy and You Know It," which call for interaction and movement.
  • Together, go on excursions and discover the globe. For a baby, even a simple trip to the grocery store can be exciting. Tell the entire story. It's okay to use terms that your baby doesn't comprehend; eventually, they will, and it's healthy for them to hear a variety of phrases.

Children who are 2 or 3 years old can play more challenging versions of these activities. Games involving imitation and movement, such as "follow the leader," can be played in addition to matching, sorting, and counting activities

Give yourself over to playing and having fun as much as you can. Work and housework may wait, or you can make duties more enjoyable for both of you by involving small children. Social media monitoring can certainly wait.

An investment in your child's future that will also strengthen your bond and bring you both joy is time spent playing together.


No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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