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By PLAYING the child grows!

Play for the child is a very serious matter.  Since birth, through it the child develops its own skills and knowledge, forms its own identity and relates to the environment and people.

For children it is not a moment separated from others (as it is for adults) but the way in which they become acquainted with their body, their intellect, their senses. Through play, the child grows.
So how does the child play? 
Here are some aspects that I have collected, finding and studying those playful activities and games suitable for the different phases of growth. Obviously it is not the same for everyone and they are only general guidelines.

From 0 to 6 months

dad with daughter. An important part of every child's day, cuddling with parents.

At this stage, play is expressed mainly in contact with the parents' bodies. At birth, contact promotes the regulation of vital functions and the sense of attachment. It is an instinctive, non-verbal form of interaction. In the first months, the baby's senses are refined and allow him to know and explore people and the environment.

At birth,
  • it communicates through crying;
  • it learns to manage its thoughts,
  • uses its hands in coordination with its eyesight.

So how do we stimulate play in these early stages?Baby massage after a nice bath

Let him see our face up close, he cannot see well from a distance, so he will get to know us. Let's massage him to stimulate his senses and foster a deeper bond with us. Show him games and pictures in bright colors. Let's talk to the child from birth. The best games for this phase are those that stimulate the senses: colors, sounds and shapes.

From 7 months to 12 months

Now the child reaches a certain degree of motor autonomy: he moves, sits, moves the first steps. Finally he can explore the environment. Now he manipulates objects well with two hands and is able to have a grip between thumb and forefinger. His language comprehension is increasing and he can understand short and familiar sentences.  

 How does the child play at this stage? 

Plays independently for short periods, understands that an object exists even without seeing it,(perhaps it has been hidden from him).
Uses games and toys without a specific purpose, for a spirit of exploration.

So how can we stimulate its growth during this period?Playing independently, magical moments for the growth of independence.

Well: let's create spaces for him in the house where he feels safe to play by himself. Let's put him in different positions so that he has different perspectives of the world. Let's use sturdy toys and a few at a time : this way he will learn to know them and won't be too distracted. Let him listen to songs and nursery rhymes. 

From 12 to 24 months

The child has acquired great confidence in walking and running. He is always on the move! He becomes more and more autonomous and acquires awareness of being an individual.He plays more appropriately and develops his imagination. He understands the meaning of "outside and inside". We must be willing to play with them but give them their space. 
Encourage contact with other children and outdoor play. We try to read books to them.

Have you noticed these phases in your children? I'll stop here for now, I'll be waiting for you in the next reading to continue to explore this topic.

"Remember: the quality of the time you dedicate to your little one is important in addition to the quantity"