Play, Laugh, GrowLearning To Play With Your Child

by : News Canada

(NC)—The first year of a child's life is a prime time for exploring. Babies are excited and eager to learn about the world around them and playing is essential to a child's development. Parents are the best learning resource a child has, and playtime offers a chance for bonding between parents and children. By learning how to play with their children, parents can help them develop a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.

Parents shouldn't feel that they have to constantly practice the alphabet or enroll their children in school at age two to stimulate learning. Instead, parents should provide toys that help stretch mental, physical and emotional muscles. In addition, parents shouldn't be afraid to get down on the floor and play alongside their babies.

"Rewarding babies for accomplishments helps to develop a positive self-image," says Dr. Kathleen Alfano, leading child researcher and Director of the Fisher-Price Child Research Department. Parents should enjoy watching their babies play and can offer encouragement by clapping their hands or singing songs to their children.

Parents can help their children play by creating an environment that is safe and clear. The area should also be childproofed so that the youngster is able to explore without any restrictions.

When left to explore and discover, baby will soon learn how to move from sitting to crawling to learning how to stand. Once babies begin to move around and walk, toys for pushing and pulling that feature pleasant sounds are important motivators. Fisher-Price's line of Baby Playzone toys encourages and rewards baby's physical accomplishments, making baby want to repeat the activity again and again. For example, Baby Playzone Stride-To-Ride Walker helps steady baby's first steps and reward baby's achievement with lights, sounds and high-energy music.

Parents can watch their children grow through these stages with the Fisher-Price Baby Playzone Crawl & Slide Arcade, which will take them from standing to sliding down baby's first slide. In addition to a parent's encouragement to take the next step, lights and lively music also reward every accomplishment baby makes.

It is important that parents try not to direct play or show children how to do something "the right way." It is important to remember that children who are able to explore on their own develop a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

- News Canada