Parents and guardians are a child’s first playmate; whether playing with blocks or transforming the living room into an imaginary pirate ship, you're fostering trust and intimacy while equipping your child with skills vital for their future well-being.
In a way, play gets the brain ready to learn! Here's an insightful excerpt from a recent report by our friends at The LEGO Foundation:
Children and tennis players have a lot in common. When a player serves, they know their opponent is ready to return the ball. That’s what children expect from you, too. If a child hides behind their hands, they want you to search for them. If you do the hiding, they’ll wriggle and giggle. Playful parenting is all about that predictable pattern of back and forth. And children thrive on your warm, sensitive responses. Studies using brain scans on babies have linked predictable serves and returns to better physical and mental health, empathy and language learning in children later on. As a parent, playing along is important. Our brains – children’s brains especially – literally change as we learn. When children do things over and over, it physically creates new pathways in the brain (that’s why a toddler’s favourite word is ”again!”). So if children serve too often without a return, they’re missing opportunities to create and reinforce valuable connections in their brains. This is especially important because the early years of a child’s life build the foundation of their brain architecture for years to come.