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Playdates can help with Your Child’s Learning & Here’s How

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Following on from our first post in the ‘Science of Play series about how to create the perfect playdate, in association with Aptamil Growing Up milks, we’re looking at how playdates can be a learning experience for you toddler, as well as a fun one!

Teddy loves a playdate with his friends.

He loves his friends to come to his house where he can show them all of the toys he loves to play with. Although Teddy sees it as purely a time to play and have fun with his friends he is also learning a great deal from this time with them.

Ted loves to play games

As the only child at home during the day he often plays alone, resulting in him missing some of the skills children can learn when playing with others.

Playdates offer excellent opportunities to play games that involve turn-taking, for example. Developing the ability to wait your turn can be a useful skill and when it’s part of a fun game with your best friend it’s much easier for the toddler to accept.

We have a cupboard full of ‘turn-taking’ games and always get one out when a friend is over to play. These sorts of games are great for teaching children that some games have rules.

Simple games with simple rules are great for children at this age.

Every child plays in their own unique way

Playdates offer your child the opportunity to be able to watch how other children play with toys and maybe they will learn some new ways to do it themselves.

Observing others is a great way to learn and children often love to mimic their friends and almost all of the time, they’ll do it naturally.

When children get together you can almost guarantee they will all want to play with exactly the same toy. It doesn’t matter what the toy is, or whether they even really want to play with it, if another child has it, they will want it.

Playdates are a great way to learn how to share. When a friend comes to play encourage your child to share their toys. They may not like it at first but the more opportunities offered for them to share, the easier it will become.

Children talk to each other in a way that no adult can replicate

Through talking with friends your child can learn new words and learn to understand facial expressions, tone of voice and body language. Through the simple act of being around other children, your child is learning so many things.

New environments

When you host playdates at your house your child is already confident with their surroundings and familiar with their own toys. Playdates at others people’s houses allow the opportunity for your child to play with different toys that they haven’t played with before, learning different skills and ways to play. Furthermore, just being in an unfamiliar surrounding helps children develop confidence outside of their comfort zone in their own home.

Your toddler is learning to use and control their body

Playdates provide children with opportunities to play and your child is bound to learn through play. When Ted is building with bricks he’s learning to position the brick carefully and use enough force to join the bricks together. He often does this with dice at his Grandma’s house and will sit there for ages, concentrating on getting the dice stacked up.

These are important lessons for the hands. A child threading beads is learning to look carefully and move accurately. A child painting is learning about colour and colour mixing. Outdoor games provide the chance to learn about speed and balance. The best part being that all these lessons are learnt through play and having fun with friends.

Playdates are a fun way to help your child learn though play whilst having great fun.

Take a look at this advertorial video showing how toddlers discover their friends, brought to you by Aptamil Growing Up milks’.

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