Play is essential for your toddler’s development  

Learning through play is a natural way for your little one to learn. It's fun, engaging, and it helps them develop in many different ways. Through play, toddlers can develop their:

  • Cognitive skills: Play helps toddlers learn about the world around them. They learn about cause and effect, problem-solving, and how to think critically.
  • Language and communication skills: Play helps toddlers develop their vocabulary and learn how to use language to express themselves. They also learn how to listen to others and take turns.
  • Social and emotional skills: Play helps toddlers learn how to interact with others, share, and cooperate. They also learn how to manage their emotions and resolve conflicts.
  • Physical skills: Play helps toddlers develop their gross motor skills (such as running and jumping) and fine motor skills (such as grasping and manipulating objects).

In addition to these specific skills, play also helps your toddler develop a number of other important qualities, such as:

  • Creativity: Play allows toddlers to use their imaginations and to come up with new and creative ideas.
  • Confidence: Play helps toddlers build confidence in their abilities. They learn that they can do things on their own, and they develop a sense of independency.
  • Resilience: Play helps toddlers learn how to deal with challenges and setbacks. They learn that they can overcome obstacles, and they develop a sense of resilience.

Here are some additional benefits of learning through play:

  • It helps children retain information better.
  • It makes learning more enjoyable and motivating.
  • It helps children develop problem-solving skills.
  • It helps children develop creativity and imagination.
  • It helps children learn how to work together and cooperate with others.

How to Encourage Play in Toddlers at Home 

There are many ways to encourage play in toddlers. Here are a few tips:

  • Provide a variety of play materials: Toddlers need a variety of materials to play with, so they can explore their interests and learn new things. Some good options include blocks, puzzles, dress-up clothes, art supplies, and balls.
  • Set aside time for play: Toddlers need time to play every day. Make sure they have time to explore their interests and to be creative.
  • Be a role model: Toddlers learn by watching adults. So, make sure you model the kind of play you want to see in your child. For example, if you want your child to play with blocks, then you should play with blocks too.
  • Encourage open-ended play: Open-ended play is the best kind of play for toddlers. This type of play doesn't have a specific goal or outcome, so toddlers have the freedom to explore and to be creative. Some examples of open-ended play include playing with blocks, dress-up clothes, and art supplies.
  • Don't interfere too much: It's important to let toddlers play on their own sometimes. This gives them the opportunity to explore their interests and to learn at their own pace. Of course, you can still offer guidance and support, but don't try to control the play.

Free Sessions to help with your toddlers development

Sandwell offers a wide variety of FREE sessions to support you with your toddlers development. These sessions take place in our Family Hubs, Libraries and many community venues across Sandwell.

Nursery Places for 3-4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year old children are entitled to a maximum of 570 hours of free childcare a year (15 hours a week for 38 weeks a year).

Free childcare is an opportunity for your child to play and learn in a quality environment that will help to extend their skills and experiences, develop their confidence and prepare them for school.

Childcare providers offer various models of flexibility when delivering free childcare/ early education. You will need to check directly with your preferred provider if they can offer the attendance pattern that you require for your child.

For more information on apply for nursey places click here

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