Why Playing At Home Is Essential For Healthy Development 

Children must be prepared to some degree for their formal early childhood education. Playing in the home is an effective tool parents can use to stimulate children and make sure they are equipped for classroom learning. Play is so important because it is the primary mechanism through which children investigate the world around them and begin to explore their problem-solving abilities – as children engage in play, they learn to make sense of their world. A lot of early childhood learning happens in the home: where parents are a child’s first teachers. Children need support in the home arena as they begin to communicate, create, imagine, innovate and problem-solve through play. 

How Can I Help My Infant Play? 

The most important thing you can do for infants as they play in their pre-pre-school years is ensure they have enough resources to discover, explore, experiment and question new concepts about the world around them. Resources can take the shape of ordinary objects around the home, natural objects outside and ongoing engagement in the form of directions, distractions and questions. Families can enhance learning by providing the tools children need to foster their curiosity, creativity, investigation and inquiry. 

Digital platforms can be utilised as a means of strengthening the lessons children have learned when engaging physically with their environment. Children can learn a lot from watching educational videos on YouTube. Lessons about colours, numbers, shapes and the weather can be taught by bright, fun animated characters. Apps on a tablet or smartphone can be utilised to match similar objects and solve puzzles. While digital platforms can be used as a medium to strengthen learning, it is paramount that they are balanced with traditional play.  

How Do I Balance Traditional and Digital Play? 

As with all things, moderation is key when engaging children with digital toys. Be sure to impose a reasonable time limit when children are watching YouTube or playing with an app. Children need balance in all areas of life, so be sure to provide both traditional and digital toys when you are advocating playtime to your kids. Both types of play are important as they teach and reinforce different skills and neither should be prioritised above the other. Overall, keeping your children stimulated using both tools is crucial to ensuring they are ready for the routine of early childhood education when the time comes. 

Contact Robyn Taylor 

At Robyn Taylor Early Childhood Centre, we incorporate a range of strategies to help children develop as they play. If you would like to learn more about the Robyn Taylor Teaching Method, book a tour of our education centre or enrol your child, please use our contact page to reach out to us or call on 02 9705 8309.