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Helping Your Child Learn Through Play

For kids, play is more than just fun – it's how they learn about themselves and the world. Make your playroom a bright spot for imaginative play, filled with hands-on activities that help build skills, confidence and creativity.

Leave floor space open for active play, like dancing and charades. Engage children's senses with vivid colors, a variety of shapes and eye-catching artwork. Provide tactile interest with textures – plush rugs, soft blocks, squishy balls, a silky play tent.

Simple, lightweight furniture encourages kids to use their imaginations and move pieces around, whether they're building a fort with blankets or creating a puppet theater with a table. A room theme can also spark kids' creativity. Consider an educational theme like numbers, the alphabet, nature or geography.

Make-believe is important for children's development. Fill a toy chest with dress-up clothes and hang a full-length mirror.

Make or buy a cast of puppet characters. Bring in toys that let kids mimic adult activities, such as a play kitchen or tool bench. Blocks and building sets help develop dexterity.

Keep crafts supplies out in the open to encourage impromptu projects. Set up a kid-sized easel with a big roll of paper. Make the room mess-proof: choose furniture with easy-to-clean wipe-off surfaces or washable slipcovers. Place a drop cloth under the play table for painting projects, and hang smocks nearby on wall pegs.

Fill a cozy reading corner with books and puzzles.

Music is a great way for kids to express themselves, and it reinforces language development. Equip the room with a music player for singing, dancing and musical games. Have a band of toy instruments so kids can make their own music.