There is so much for a child to learn about the world around them, and their best tools are movement and play. Movement and play support motor development while simultaneously encouraging curiosity- and are the pillars of the fourth principle of the Basics.
Your child is a natural explorer and playing is a simple way to learn about their surroundings. One of the first games a baby plays, Peek-a-boo, helps babies build a loving connection with their caretakers and sets the stage for future learning. As they grow and become more independent, little ones engage in social, object, and physical play. Social play with other children creates opportunities to develop social skills and problem solving. Object play, such as with blocks, puzzles, and shape-sorting toys, helps in developing spatial reasoning and math skills. Finally, physical play supports overall physical health. As your little one goes from sitting to crawling to walking, they find new ways to explore and engage with their environment.
Take a walk: Everything is new and exciting to a young child! Let them lead the way and talk about what they find interesting.
Make art: Holding a crayon is good for little hands, and your child will enjoy scribbling.
Let them problem solve: Stand back and see what they can figure out by themselves.
Follow their interests: Notice what they reach for, and describe how it looks and feels.
Use position words: Use words like over, under, near, far, through, and around.
The following books from the library can help you Explore through Movement and Play:
Stretch by Doreen Cronin
Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
We’re going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
How Do You Wokka-Wokka by Elizabeth Bluemle
The Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera
Everybunny Dance! by Ellie Sandall
For more information on The Basics, visit www.thebasics.org.