Friday, November 17, 2006

Day 270 - Play with Baby Toys

Today's first time parenting tip - Play with your baby's toys so they can imitate you

There is a lot to be said for exploratory, solo play for infants. It helps them learn to do things on their own, entertain themselves and develop independence. Equally important is social play with not only other kids, but with you too.

You're going to have to get right in there with them. There are some great toys out there, but your baby isn't going to know exactly what to do. If you play with them every day, you'll find they quickly get "better" at playing with toys.

For instance, my son got a set of stacking cups for christmas. Set them in front of him, and he might knock over one or two, but then he's done. So I build a big tower out of them. He'll crawl across the room just to knock it over. Next thing I know, he's taking the cups apart and putting them back together. He knows small goes into big, and he still loves knocking over what I build.

The important thing is that while you can lead a bit, you can't force it. If your baby isn't interested or wants something else, follow their lead. But if you play right along with your baby, they'll quickly learn lots of things, and this is a good habit to carry forward as they get older too. Play games with them. Take an interest in what they're doing. You'll have a better relationship with them in general.

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