Your child’s development will center around play, and this is the most natural way for him to learn. It is only in the last twenty years that the full value of development through play has been recognized, since playing was previously regarded as an empty activity, used to fill the time when children could not be usefully employed. We now recognize that play is an essential means of acquiring the majority of adult skills, particularly social ones. Your child will first learn to form relationships and to share with children his own age through play, and toys will have a significant educational role in all your child’s developmental milestones.
Choose toys for their educational value. Reading, writing, and math proficiency requires certain basic skills that your child will acquire through building and construction toys, playing with puzzles, and matching colors, shapes, and textures. The best toys are the ones that children return to again and again because they are limitless in their appeal- usually ones that encourage inventiveness. For this reason, a household item like a strainer may give more lasting pleasure than many an expensive and elaborate toy. By sharing your child’s games and encouraging him in his play, you’ll strengthen the bond between you as he comes to see you as a giver of knowledge and fun.
Places to play: It’s nice to set aside a special activity space for your child- a send tray, for example, or an area for messy play like painting or water games- but your child can play anywhere, as long as you take the proper safety measures. The kitchen is an ideal place, provided you are there to keep an eye on your child. You could set up a doll’s corner where the dolls can be put to bed each evening and awakened in the morning for breakfast.