Playing with your toddler is an essential part of their development. It plays a vital role in their growth and development and is a fun way to bond with them. As a parent, it is vital to understand how play contributes to your child’s cognitive, physical, and emotional development.

From open-ended toys to outdoor play, it’s important to explore various strategies that can help create a fun and engaging playtime. One way to explore strategies is by understanding how playtime works and enjoying benefits like your toddlers sleeping well through the night.

However, it can be challenging if you are unsure how to engage your child. That being said, there is a wealth of scientific research that can help you play with your toddler more effectively. This article explores some science-backed tips for playing with your toddler.


  1. Get Outside

Toddlers love playing outside, which makes it a fun experience. But this experience is more than just fun; it benefits your child’s development. To start, playing outside can positively impact a child’s sleep patterns. Toddlers who play outside can expend energy by engaging in regular physical activities.

These activities can help tire your toddler out and promote a night of more restful sleep. So, if you have been struggling with sleep regression, getting outside and playing might be useful. Besides sleep, getting outside can also support your toddler’s cognitive development.

Their development will be boosted as the outside offers them an opportunity to learn and explore their environment. For instance, your child will explore different textures and shapes that develop their senses and promote curiosity.

Research has shown that active play can help improve your toddler’s cognitive development, including attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Playing games like tag, Simon Says, or Red Light, Green Light can be fun to get your toddler moving and improve their physical development. Consider taking your toddler to explore new environments in places like parks.


  1. Follow Your Toddler’s Lead

When playing with your toddler, it’s important always to follow their lead. Following their lead allows them to explore and be curious about the world around them. This curiosity often leads them to have ideas about what they want to play with and how they want to play.

Research has shown that following a child’s lead during play can allow them to take an active role in their play. You’ll be giving them the opportunities to express themselves, which can boost their self-confidence and sense of autonomy.

Moreover, following your toddler’s lead may also help to build a stronger bond with them. This bond can be attributed to showing them that you value their preferences and ideas, thus fostering a sense of trust and security. It’ll also be a great way of helping your toddler work through difficult emotions and experiences.

So, when you follow your toddler’s lead, you show them that you are centring play around their interests and experiences. This provides a supportive and nurturing environment that allows them to express themselves.


  1. Use Play To Teach New Skills

Play is an excellent way to teach toddlers new skills and concepts in a fun and engaging way. Research has shown that using play to teach new skills can be more effective than traditional teaching methods. So, when teaching new skills, try to use creativity to make learning fun.

For instance, you can turn learning shapes into a game of shape scavenger hunt. And if you want to reinforce positive behaviours, using play may be a great way to achieve results. You can create a game where your toddler earns a reward for sharing, taking turns, and being kind to others.

But as you use play to teach new skills, remember to keep it simple, as toddlers have short attention spans. You can do this by ensuring the activities aren’t too difficult or overwhelming for your toddler. And always remember to repeat, as toddlers need it to learn new skills.


  1. Encourage Imaginative Play

Imaginative play is vital for your toddler’s social and emotional development. This play helps to develop their ability to understand and communicate with others. They’ll also learn how to express their emotions, thus developing empathy for others. 

Consider providing open-ended toys like blocks, dolls, and play kitchens to encourage imaginative play. These toys allow children to use their imagination and creativity to create stories and scenarios. Another way is having a designated play space where your child can engage in imaginative play.

This could be a designated corner or a special playroom with toys and props. And as you set up a play space, consider joining in on the play and adding to the story or scenario. Getting involved can help to expand their imagination and creativity.


  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Messy

Messy play can be a fun way for toddlers to explore their environment and develop their sensory skills. Play with play dough, finger paints, or sand is a great way for your toddler to develop their fine motor skills and explore different textures and materials. Research has shown that messy play can benefit your toddler’s cognitive development. So, don’t be afraid to get messy, and let your toddler explore their environment fun and engagingly.

Bottom Line

Playing with your toddler isn’t only a fun and enjoyable activity but also crucial for their development. By incorporating these science-backed tips into your playtime routine, you can help your toddler develop essential skills that will benefit them. Next time you play with your toddler, keep these tips in mind and watch them grow and thrive through the power of play.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


© Copyright 2011-2024 Buggybuddys Pty Ltd. All rights reserved


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?