The Importance of Play for Toddlers to Enhance Their Development
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the average toddler should be getting approximately 1.5 hours of physical play each day. This should include at least some energetic play, and it shouldn’t involve more than 60 minutes of screen-based activity.
The importance of play for toddlers forms a vital part of their physical and mental development. We’re going to talk about some of the benefits of toddler play to help illustrate how development for toddlers can be enhanced through the usage of play.
Gives a Toddler a Chance to Explore the World Around Them
When you look around your house, everything probably seems very familiar to you. You’ve likely picked up and held almost all of the items that are inside of it.
But this isn’t the case for your toddler. Everything in your home is going to be completely foreign to them. They’re going to be genuinely curious about what things are, what they’re used for, what they feel like, etc.
When you give your toddler a chance to play in your home all the time, it’ll allow them to explore their surroundings. They’ll be able to tap into their natural curiosities and gain so much knowledge about the world that surrounds them.
This is going to bode well for them as they begin to get older. They won’t be afraid to explore other settings in an attempt to get to know them better. This is a life skill that will be reinforced thanks to the importance of play.
Allows a Toddler to Improve Fine Motor Skills
There are so many motor skills that your toddler will need to develop over time. From clapping their hands together to picking up different items and carrying them around, they’ll need to participate in activities that will encourage them to develop these motor skills in the most natural way possible.
There are all sorts of great toddler play ideas that you can put to good use to help your child build up the motor skills that they’ll need to succeed as they move forward in life. Something as simple as sitting and playing with a set of blocks can work wonders for their motor skills.
Allows a Toddler to Learn the Most Effective Ways to Communicate
By the time your toddler turns 2, they’ll often know an average of about 50 words. Between the ages of 2 and 3, they’ll typically begin to string together sentences that are between four and five words. And from there, the sky will be the limit as far as how quickly your child can learn new words and begin using them.
By coming up with different play ideas for toddlers, you can start to get them to communicate more effectively than they might otherwise. They’ll begin using words and sentences to speak to both you and other children as they play.
The more that your toddler communicates as they play, the better they’ll get to be when it comes to using their words and comprehension. It won’t be long before they’re able to hold conversations with others.
Creates More Confidence Within a Toddler
Young children aren’t always just born with confidence. One of the many ways you can help build confidence is through play.
As your child plays, you’ll get the opportunity to teach them how to do different things. When they learn how to do them, that will start to instil a sense of confidence in themselves. You’ll also get the opportunity to offer up some well-deserved praise to your child as they master the skills that you teach them. This praise will also work wonders for their confidence levels.
Encourages a Toddler to Take Risks in a Safe Way
As your child grows up, you’re going to want them to take risks every now and then. You obviously won’t want them to do things that will put them in harm’s way, but you will want them to engage in risks, that will help them grow as people and nurture their understanding of making mistakes.
You can encourage your child to start taking risks when they’re still just a toddler. While they’re playing in your home or outside of it, you can supervise them as they try out things they’ve never done before and take risks while they’re doing it.
This will teach your toddler to take risks without subjecting them to any actual danger. This will benefit them both when they head off to school and as they grow up and navigate their way through the world.
Makes It Possible for a Toddler to Try Out New Play Ideas
There are so many different ways in which your toddler can play every day. You might also want to list play ideas by age and slowly work new forms of play into the mix every so often to keep playtime fresh for your child. They’ll be able to test out new play ideas all the time and see which ones they like and respond to the most.
In the short term, this will help to keep your toddler more entertained while allowing them to explore types of play that they might not get to try otherwise. In the long term, it might help them decide which types of sports and other physical activities they like taking part in.
Play can further your child’s development and open up the whole world to them. You’ll love seeing them grow in so many ways when they get the chance to play each day.
Play Is Essential to Toddler Development
When your toddler isn’t eating or sleeping, they’re more than likely going to want to play. You should embrace this time in their life and let them play as much as they want.
Before long, you’ll start to see the importance of play in your child’s life. It’ll jumpstart their physical, mental, and emotional development in ways that you wouldn’t have even imagined.
Would you like to learn about other things you can do to help your toddler develop? Get more suggestions by browsing through our other blog articles.
Note: This article is designed to provide general advice for parents and guardians, for specific health advice, please consult with your child’s healthcare practitioner.