You asked

How does play help my child develop?

Play is vital to a child’s development; socially, emotionally, and physically. Playing is the way that a child learns about the world around her and learns about herself as well.

When your child is a toddler, you will begin to see her imagination grow through play. She will also be building strong qualities and skills, like creativity, problem-solving, curiosity, and independence.

As a parent, it is very important to play with your child. Your child will enjoy the interaction and it gives you an opportunity to teach her through talking and activities.

There are several categories of play:

•    Social play involves interaction with others. From watching the mobile in her crib, to playing a game as a four year old, social play is present at all ages.
•    Object play is the best for 4 months to 10 months of age. This age loves to bang on things, touch different textures, and put things in their mouths.
•    Representational play is when your 18 month old uses her shoe to make a phone call. This type of play is seen more at 12 months to 21 months of age.
•    Symbolic play happens around 24 months of age. This is where your child will use an object as if it were a different object. For example, a box will become a dump truck. 
•    Role playing usually starts around 30 months old and will continue for years. Your child may imitate Mum, her doctor, or even the family pet.

Treat playtime as if it were a part of your child’s education and understand that every aspect of play is a learning experience for your child.

More questions

Gifts are a great way to reassure your older child that they are still special and loved when a new baby is brought home. Here are some suggestions your child will love!
Great suggestions for buying the perfect age appropriate present for a 2 year old
Tips for taking your child to the cinema
Different ways to encourage your child to be musical and reap the benefits of playing an instrument
Reading to your child and pointing out letters and words is a great way to prepare your child for learning to read
How to ensure that your toddler is watching age appropriate TV in healthy doses
Choosing the best toys for your child's development, enjoyment and creativity
Great toys to help your toddler’s development while providing enjoyment
Making sure your toddler doesn't end up in the emergency room because of their hazardous toys!
Playing is not just important for your child’s enjoyment but also for their education and development