Please Play with Your Baby
If you have perused the Our First Year blog before, you are well aware of our movement to increase meaningful playtime with your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics is in full agreement.
An article entitled "Let Kids Play" was published in the New York Times and it highlights research that shows that "play can affect the developing brain, both in its basic structure and in function, with changes that can be traced to play showing up at the molecular and cellular level, as well as at the level of behavior and executive function." Play truly is the work of childhood.
With so much emphasis placed on speeding up children's learning in various academic areas, perhaps we, as a society, have missed out on fostering children's social, emotional, and behavioral skills. All of these skills can be developed through playing with toys. And we're not talking about fancy modern toys either. Very basic toys are best; bubbles, puzzles, balls, cups and wooden spoons from the kitchen, sock puppets, and all the developmental toys that are included in the OFY backpack.
Many times, you can play and engage with a baby without using a single toy. Babies love peek-a-boo, songs, and imitating facial expressions. The simple act of smiling back at a grinning baby is demonstrating turn-taking, which will in turn be useful during conversation in years to come.
Play with your baby - it could be the most important thing you do today.
For more ideas on meaningful playtime with your baby, check out the OFY activity cards ...it's all in the bag!