Children need to play every day! Children learn and explore through play, which gives them confidence in everyday life.
They especially need play that is physical, even as infants. Infants can be physically active through tummy time, which helps them strengthen their back and neck muscles.
There are two important types of play, unstructured and structured.
Unstructured play, or free play, is not planned and allows children to use their imaginations:
- Playing and building with blocks.
- Exploring a new park.
- Dancing to music.
- Building a fort from blankets and cushions or pillows.
- Playing dress-up.
- Drawing or coloring.
Structured play is more organized and happens at a certain time in a particular space:
- Story time in your home or at the local library.
- Dance or swim lessons.
- Structured art projects.
- Game time.
Sometimes children may seem like they don’t want to play. They may be tired or just not interested in the activity. This is a good time to change activities, introduce new toys, or let your child take a break.