Play is how your toddler explores and learns about the world. Support and encourage this play by allow your child lots of time to play. Try to match your child’s interests with play activities, but also try to find activities that you enjoy doing together. When you are having fun, your child is having fun too! Your interactions with your child, while playing and pretending will further allow your child to learn and grow.
Play is how young children start to get ready for school.
- They learn how to feel comfortable being with other children, and how to be a good friend.
- Play gets children ready for learning—paying attention to adults, playing nicely with others, and feeling comfortable being away from their parents.
- Pretend play is one way children learn about difficult feelings like anger and fear.
TIP: Make the places in your home where you spend a lot of time safe places where your child can play and be supervised easily. Give your child lots of time to explore with things like water, sand, boxes, or any other safe item that your child finds interesting.
TIP: Provide simple and safe items, like plastic cups and plates, pots and pans, books, blocks, play tools, and crayons. This way, your child can copy your actions and work. Items should be stored in a safe place or in a container where children can easily see and get to them.
TIP: Describe what’s going on to your child:
- “I see you drew a brown circle.”
- “What a long jump you made!”
TIP: Ask questions.