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Play is the way to learn

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					Speech and language therapy at children’s centres




Play is
the way
to learn




Find	out	more	online:
www.worcestershire.gov.uk/childrenscentres
Play is the way                        Children,	if	they’re	happy,	will	spend	
                                       most	of	their	time	playing.	It	is	their	

to learn                               ‘work’.	Any	situation	can	lead	to	play,	so	
                                       long	as	it’s	fun.	Don’t	worry	if	your	child	
                                       likes	to	repeat	the	same	games	and	
•	 Your time and attention will help
                                       activities	a	number	of	times;	they	know	
   your child to play and learn
                                       practice	makes	perfect!
•	 Play helps children to understand
   their world                         Baby’s play doesn’t need many
•	 Play helps to develop their         toys; they	will	find	people	the	most	
   imagination                         interesting	playmate	and	will	love	to	
•	 Play helps children make friends    have	your	time	and	attention.	They	
   and develop social skills           learn	most	when	you	are	talking	with	
•	 Play does not need expensive toys   them,	telling	them	what	you	are	doing	
   but it does need you                or	what	is	going	to	happen.	They	
                                       love	simple	games	such	as	‘peepo’	or	
•	 Play helps children understand
   rules and boundaries                tickling.

•	 Children practise new skills when   Older babies still like you to play
   they play                           with them,	but	they	also	like	to	hold	
•	 Children learn through play.        safe	objects	that	they	can	examine	and	
                                       move.	When	your	child	is	able	to	sit	
                                       on	their	own	you	may	like	to	consider	
                                       making	them	a	‘treasure	basket’.	This	
                                       is	simply	a	basket	or	box	of	unusual	
                                       objects	that	are	safe	for	your	baby	to	
                                       explore.	They	could	include	fir	cones,	
                                       wooden	nail	brush,	big	feathers,	large	
                                       corks,	large	painting	brush,	wooden	
                                       pegs,	metal	spoons,	small	cardboard	
                                       boxes,	greaseproof	paper,	tennis	ball,	
                                       new	rubber	dog	chew,	and	so	on.
Older	toddlers	will	love	to	‘help’	you	     When your child is able to
with	your	household	chores.	These	may	
                                            play by themselves, you can
take	longer	when	done	together	but	
there	are	lots	of	things	to	talk	about	
                                            still help them to learn.
while	you	do	them.                          Get	down	to	their	level	and	talk	
                                            about	what	they	are	doing.	Don’t	
Here	are	some	things	they	can	help	
                                            tell	them	what	to	do,	but	give	a	
you	with:	collecting	dirty	washing;	
                                            ‘running	commentary’	like	a	sports	
loading/unloading	the	washing	
                                            commentator!	By	describing	their	play	
machine;	pegging	out	washing;	dusting;	
                                            you	can	add	words.	This	will	help	their	
putting	away	toys;	helping	get	food	
                                            vocabulary	grow.
out	of	the	fridge;	choosing	food	in	
the	supermarket	(cut	the	labels	off	old	    When	trying	to	decide	what	toys	to	
packs	and	give	them	to	your	child	so	       get	your	child	it	may	be	useful	to	think	
they	can	find	the	same	thing	on	the	        about	what	skills	they	will	help	your	
shelf);	washing	up	(they	can	have	a	        child	develop.	Certain	toys	will	help	
bowl	of	water	and	some	plastic	plates);	    develop	certain	skills.	For	example,	a	
helping	to	wash	the	car;	sweeping	up	       bike	will	help	develop	co-ordination	
leaves	outside;	painting	the	fence	or	      and	balance	and	a	jigsaw	puzzle	will	
wall	(using	a	paint	brush	and	water)	and	   help	develop	motor	control,	thinking/
so	on.                                      observation	and	concentration.	A	tea-
                                            set	will	help	develop	social	skills	as	you	
                                            enjoy	a	tea	party	together.	Whatever	
                                            toys	you	choose,	your	child	will	learn	
                                            more	if	you	share	them	together!
                                                                    You can contact us in the
 Why is play important?                                             following ways:
 •	 It	helps	develop	and	learn	new	skills                           By telephone:
 •	 It	helps	a	child	to	listen,	to	                                 01905	790	560		
    understand	and	to	talk                                          (Monday	to	Friday,	9am	to	
                                                                    5pm.	Answer	machine	at	all	
 •	 It’s	fun
                                                                    other	times)
 •	 It	helps	to	make	friends
                                                                    By post:
 •	 It	helps	to	develop	confidence.
                                                                    Family	Information	Service,		
                                                                    3	De	Salis	Court,		
                                                                    De	Salis	Drive,		
                                                                    Hampton	Lovett,	Droitwich,	
                                                                    WR9	0QE
                                                                    By email:
                                                                    familyinfo@worcestershire.
                                                                    gov.uk
                                                                    Online:
                                                                    www.worcestershire.gov.uk/
                                                                    childrenscentres



 If you have any questions or concerns
                                                                    This	publication	can	be	
 about your child’s speech and language
                                                                    made	available	in	other	
 development, please contact a Speech                               languages	and	alternative	
 and Language Therapist via your local                              formats	(including	large	
 children’s centre.                                                 print,	audio	tape,	computer	
                                                                    disc	and	Braille)	on	request	
                                                                    from	the	Marketing	Team	on	
                                                                    telephone	number		
 To	the	best	of	our	knowledge	all	information	was	correct	at	the	   01905	728912	or	by	emailing	
                                                                                                     51797 09/09




 time	of	printing:	October	2009.                                    ctootill@worcestershire.gov.uk


Find	out	more	online:
www.worcestershire.gov.uk/childrenscentres

				
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