The science of play | UNICEF Parenting | #parenting

When she’s building a tower, she’s practicing physical skills

Stacking objects helps her to understand movement and space through practicing sensory-motor skills and developing spatial understanding. This skillset is important for nurturing a healthy, active body. Engage with your child by noticing what she is building, making sounds and facial expressions, and taking turns adding objects to the structure – see how high you can go!


When he’s making silly sounds, he’s building social skills

Little ones naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions and gestures. Paying attention to your child, naming what he is doing, and responding by adapting your gaze, voice and movement helps to build and strengthen neural connections in his brain that support the development of communication and social skills. This kind of give and take also strengthens the bond between you and your child.

Learn more about baby talk


When you’re playing hide-and-go-seek with objects together, she’s building cognitive skills

Working on a challenging (but fun!) task like hiding and finding household objects helps your child to practice concentration, problem solving and flexible thinking. She’s learning to tackle complex tasks and build effective strategies to overcome obstacles. If your child seems frustrated at any point, provide helpful hints but let her reach the solution on her own.

3 ways to practice problem solving with your child


When he sings and dances, he’s building emotional skills

Understanding, managing and expressing emotions by building self-awareness and handling impulses is vital to your child’s emotional development and lifelong well-being. Singing and dancing is a great way to express and let out feelings! Make it a bonding activity by and singing or dancing along.

How music affects your baby’s brain


When she draws from her imagination, she’s building creative skills

When your little one is sitting down and drawing her own world on paper, she is expressing her ideas and transforming them into reality. Once she’s finished, have her walk you through the world she’s created and ask questions about what you see.

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