The Importance of Play for your Baby

It is said that all work without play makes Jack a dull boy!

Play is an important part of a child’s growth and development. 

  • It builds them both physically and socially, hence making them become active members in the society.
  • It is through play that the baby learns about the world and their discoveries fuel their development.
  • Play makes a child to be independent, creative, social and a critical thinker. 

What Are the Different Types of Play

There are many types of play, which may include unoccupied play which happens when the child is just observing their surroundings, solitary or independent play which happens when the child is alone and chooses to focus on the activity he or she is engaging in, onlooker play whereby the child watches as other young kids play but does not join them to do what they are doing, among others.

  • Newborn play – Though they may still be small, newborns have a way in which they also need to play and feel happy. Mothers can interact with their newborns by smiling at them, making sounds and gestures that would see them move their eyes, hands or legs, cooing at them. This helps to strengthen the bond between the mother and baby, and they will feel more secure when they are with them.
  • Baby play – As the baby grows, he or she tends to become more active and will want to engage in more play activities. You can get a variety of toys for them depending on their gender which could include toys, shakers, blocks, cars, dolls, motorbikes, which will see them move around as they play with the toys. Read more on how to choose toys here.
  • Toddler play – Since they are a little bit older and full of energy, they have been exposed to more things in the outside world, hence they will want to explore, experience and learn about the world. At this stage, the child will want to play with water, sand or mud, scribble something on a piece of paper using a pen and they will even enjoy clapping their hands as they try to sing.

Most babies or toddlers will also enjoy watching TV, especially cartoon programs or programmes where there are children. However, it is important not to let them spend too much time on the TV but also expose them to other physical activities.

No matter the kind of play activity that your child is engaging in, it is important as a parent to be cautious and ensure that the area they are playing in is free from any objects that could result into accidents.


#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.



Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: healthline, infantandtoddlerforum, raisingchildren, childdevelopmentinfo

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