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Learning Through Play: The Importance of Play at 4 Months (San Leandro)

by Kyle Zabawa on November 25, 2019
Children learn and develop through play

Play is integral to a child’s development.

It is through play, that infants begin to move, communicate, socialize, and understand their surroundings, all of which are crucial for interaction.

In their early days, your child is starting to use their senses to navigate the world.

As a child grows, they learn to use their bodies to make discoveries.

Furthermore, by using their eyes, ears, nose, hands, and mouth as their tools children become capable communicators.

So, why exactly is play so important during the first year, and what can you do to keep things fun and interesting for your child?

The Significance of Play

Between the ages of 0-6 months, the best toy you can provide your baby is yourself.

Young children adore looking at faces and hearing voices.

Initially, play helps your baby to develop physically through activities that build upper body and neck strength.

From then onwards, hand eye coordination and cognitive problem solving skills begin to emerge.

Whereas newborns learn to connect through touch, sound and sight, as your baby matures, they will begin to explore the world in new ways.

Tell Me More About the Power of Play

At our San Leandro Kids Konnect preschool, we provide a stimulating environment for children aged 4 months to 5 years.

Our play-based curriculum equips your child with the necessary skills they need to grow and develop, ensuring your little one gets the start in life they deserve.

Play is an opportunity to interact with your child

 

Lessons Learned During Playtime

Play gives children lots of unique chances and opportunities to learn and encourages your child to deepen their understanding of their surroundings.

Similarly, play helps children to build their confidence, ensuring that they feel loved, happy and safe.

By developing skills in language and communication, children can learn about caring for others and the environment and can even begin to develop physical skills.

Let’s put this into context by taking a look at a typical example of play between a parent or caregiver and a 4-month-old child.

In a simple play based activity, such as shaking a rattle, a 4-month-old child can learn a variety of life lessons.

By listening to someone talk about a toy, a child begins to recognize the sounds of words and the rhythms of language.

Early communication also blossoms here, through back and forth ‘conversation’.

Talking, smiling, and interacting with an infant is incredibly beneficial.

As soon as your child starts to coo back when you speak, you can begin taking turns ‘talking’ to each other.

Additionally, these interactions teach a child about their own self worth by providing an opportunity to see the pleasure a parent or caregiver gets in return.

Whereas an understanding of cause and effect typically begins to form around the 9 month stage, introducing a child to this principle through play is vital.

By showing a child that shaking a rattle creates a noise, they are likely to imitate the action and develop hand eye coordination skills by reaching out to grab the toy and claim it as their own.

Toys teach infants to recognize different, colors, textures, smells, and tastes, as well as likes and dislikes, and are therefore instrumental to play.

Children acquire skills through playtime

Play Inspiration for 4-Month-Old Children

With all this in mind, let’s discover 4 quick and easy play activities that are perfect for a 4-month-old child.

1. Back and Forth

Cooing and talking to an infant by imitating their sounds and waiting for their response encourages them to copy you.

Try to show your child how to push buttons on interactive toys and demonstrate how to turn the pages of a book.

2. Peek-a-boo

This childhood staple is loved by children all over the world and can kick start social development.

Hiding behind your hands prompts your child to watch closely, smile, kick, and make sounds to ‘find you’.

3. Musical Magic

Introducing your child to music exposes them to a wide variety of sounds.

Play a few different types of songs and see which ones your 4-month-old likes best.

4. Basic Ball Skills

Giving a child a ball can lead to them activating all 5 senses.

Through experimenting with different pressures, over time, children learn how to control the ball and make it roll which is a useful skill that can be applied to other toys.

Playtime skills help children to enjoy their toys

Play Enhances Child Development

Ultimately, whereas all children learn to explore the world at their own pace, play can enrich the development of skills in all necessary developmental areas.

What have you found useful where interacting with your baby through play is concerned?

Let us know in the comments below.

For more exciting Kids Konnect content, check out our last blog post to learn about the importance of breakfast in a child’s morning routine.

Topics: Preschool Curriculum, Child development, Activities for Preschoolers