Play is an important part of your baby’s development. Yes ok, you know that. But how do you play with a baby that can’t really do much yet?
Here are three hacks to get you out of the brain-numbing boredom that can be baby play!
1. Make Play A Habit
Your child develops through play. As adults we use hobbies and creativity in the same way. Your child uses play to learn how to move, speak, build, walk, dance and many more things. Play helps to establish bonds, understanding, roles, rules and rewards.
So, planning in 30 minutes of play with your child every day, can help with a multitude of logistics. It also means that you have some control over when it happens. My mum friends and I agree that if our toddler is being a pain in the bum, 30 minutes of play can sort out the whole day.
2. Narrate the play
Talking to your little one helps them to develop in all ways – and this is the ultimate hack in giving you something to do while they play. Talk about what they are doing, the colour of the object they are playing with, what body part is touching it and so on. Describing the things they have in front of them means they can start learning the words you are using, and hearing your voice as you help them further develops your bond.
3. Let them lead the play
Play is a fundamental place for you to establish your roles and your control. During play your child has your attention; never underestimate the value of this to your child. Letting your little-one lead the play gives them a sense of control, and this can help lessen their desire to be in control in more inconvenient places such as the supermarket (insert supermarket-tantrum story here!) It also means you don’t have to think too much! There may be some guidance required but give over your control to them. Just be prepared to be dressed as a fairy and/or cowboy or covered in make-up and glitter in the space of 60 minutes.
In summary, getting into playing consistently will impact positively on your day to day relationship with your little one. One final tip when it comes to ending play – give them a countdown. Tell them when there is 10 minutes, and 5 minutes left. Taking the play away immediately can cause meltdown city!
Kate Cocker is the CEO of two humans, mother of business “The Presenter Coach”, and is constantly trying to work out what on earth is going on in this ridiculous thing called life. You can find her spreading joy on her podcast “Everyday Positivity”.