From birth, your baby instinctively wants to play! Not just because it’s fun, but because their brains are wired to interact. Babies have an innate urge to move, explore, connect and socialise. So, as soon as they are born, play is important to them - it’s how they learn!
At home, you can lay the foundations of literacy with your baby through reading, singing and playing together each day. Find moments in everyday activities, like at nappy change or mealtimes. Playing with a newborn can be as simple as blowing raspberries on tummies, tickling and counting toes, taking time for tummy time, narrating what’s for lunch, clapping hands together and playing favourites like peek-a-boo. Babies learn through the love, attention, time and touch they receive so find these opportunities often and remember, babies love repetition. When we sing, read to and play with babies, we’re not just bonding, we’re helping to build their vocabulary, sense of rhythm and fine motor skills. Who knew that play could be so important?!
Take a simple game of peek-a-boo - hiding behind your hands and popping out - not only guarantees a smile, it shows your baby that, even though they can’t see you, you’re still there! You can change this game up by hiding a toy under a blanket and making it appear and disappear.
Babies also learn through imitation. Songs like When You’re Happy and You Know It are an opportunity to demonstrate clapping, smiling, and pointing to all your different body parts. Action songs boost brain connections because when songs are accompanied by actions, babies and children understand the meaning much more easily.
With First 5 Forever, we take play seriously! And our libraries are the perfect space to play and meet new babies. So visit your local library and book into a Baby Play session. You and your baby will experience a range of fun, open-ended resources that promote interaction and early literacy. And we’ll show you everyday ways to enrich your baby’s literacy journey at home – we’ll see you soon!