finger puppets

Play builds brain connection

Play is a child's way of learning and growing. Without it a child will be disadvantaged and will not show adequate development.

As soon as a child can focus they will reach for things and begin to explore their world. They squeeze, roll, bang and put everything into their mouth. This is serious work for the child, though we call it play.

We want our children to have a good start in life so we tend to buy the best, most expensive educational toys but such toys are not necessary. In our attempt to make our child smarter we may neglect to make time for the personal interaction that promotes the best environment for developing brains.

The most important thing for adults to do is play and have fun with children.

When a baby hears, sees, touches, tastes, or smells something, messages are sent to the brain and a connection is made. Simple interactions like holding, rocking, singing, reading, laughing and playing with the child helps shape the biology of the child's brain. The more experiences that a child has the more brain connections are made. Repeating these activities makes the connections stronger.

The advantage of a supportive community

New findings in brain research show that widening the circle of a loving family to a supportive community is a key factor in a child's long term health and intelligence.

New findings in brain research show that widening the circle of a loving family to a supportive community is a key factor in a child's long term health and intelligence.

"Everyone in a child's sphere of influence has a role to play - whether they're a parent, a pastor, a teacher or a principal." (Sandra Harris, The Search Institute) This confirms that playgroups have a very important role and our links to churches as a wider community are beneficial to children's development.

Download the playgroup resource, "The importance of play", to read more including age-appropriate play ideas.