The Importance of Play

Baby College • Aug 09, 2020

Play isn’t just fun, it also about learning. Play is central to your baby’s or young child’s development; it will help them develop confidence, language skills, physical abilities, creativity, empathy, and social understanding. To make play a more meaningful experience your baby will need someone who will play with them attentively so that they will feel loved and cared for.

Playing with Small Babies

  • Encourages a closer, more fun parent and baby relationship

  • Babies learn how to interact with other people by reading expressions on their parents faces. Smile, sing and talk to your baby to see how they react. Watch them smile back

Your growing infant

  • Play promotes the gentle physical exercise essential in the development of your baby’s vestibular and replacement of their infant reflexes, which will lead to movement

  • Movement leads to new possibilities for babies’ play and learning, they can reach out to their world

  • Rolling and reaching allows them to make things happen

  • Physical dexterity then allows fuller exploration of objects

  • Play also supports your baby’s language development

  • By singing, pulling faces, blowing raspberries, playing peek-a-boo you are helping your baby to develop both language skills and social and emotional skills


  • For toddlers and older children playing helps them learn about the world around them in a safe environment

  • They will learn how to interact with other babies and children (taking turns, co-operation, sharing)

  • They will learn about the world they live in and learn to express emotions through role play

  • Physical play will help them learn to push their physical boundaries 

  • Free play will help them develop self-confidence and self-expression. Playing with musical instruments is fantastic for supporting creative development, even if they are just pots and pans :)

Tips for playing with young children

Make time to focus completely on your child. Talk, talk, talk about anything and everything, because when you share as much as possible, your child will pick up lots of new words and will be more engaged.

Children love to copy you, so make everyday tasks a play experience. Why not let them help you do the washing up or sorting the laundry

Providing your babies and young children with a stimulating environment will help them grow, learn and flourish.