Learning is all fun and games!Because your baby learns through play, every minute you spend having fun together is time very well spent. Games, songs and stories help build your baby’s understanding of the world and everything in it, while also helping to develop their coordination, number awareness and early reading skills.
You don't need expensive toysLearning through play doesn’t need special equipment. Simple toys and games can be just as exciting and stimulating as those with flashy lights and loud noises. Your baby will love action rhymes, singing, tumbling around with you on the floor or bed, and splashing in the bath. Everyday activities are a chance to play too, whether it’s counting oranges at the supermarket or playing splash at the pool. Even a trip in the car can be fun with a game of spot the bus or, if you’re in the countryside, sheep and cows!
Our favourite games to play around the house• Box clever – fill an empty box with different objects for your baby to empty out and put back in again. Great practice for tidying up!
• Peek-a-boo – this all-time classic will make your baby squeal with laughter. Just use a tea towel to make different objects, or even yourself, disappear and pop out with a ‘boo!’.
Sharing a picture book with your baby is a wonderful experience. You’ll notice how they really listen to your descriptions and get involved in the story. The time you spend reading together is special and sets your baby up for a lifetime of enjoying books and reading. Some of our favourite books include the following:
It’s never too early for a bedtime story
• ‘That’s Not My Dinosaur’ – a lovely, soft story book with different textures for your baby to feel as you read.
• ‘Dear Zoo’ – an interactive book that lets you hide some soft toy animals for your baby to discover throughout the story.
There are some great apps, websites and online games for toddlers. Many of them are digital versions of old favourites. Here are some that we at C&G baby club like:
• Fisher Price ‘Laugh & Learn’ apps – free apps with fun animation, music, rewards and actions.
• E-Flash Baby Flash Cards – a great range of apps that help babies learn to recognise pictures, letters, numbers and words.
The best toys and games for learning through play are those recommended by other mums – so why not share your favourite toys and games on our Facebook page?