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Not just fun & games: play-based learning for babies

Not just fun & games: play-based learning for babies

There are few things as incredible as a baby’s brain. In the first year, a baby’s brain doubles in size and forms more than 1 million new neural connections each second! It’s an exciting time in a child’s development and forms a vital foundation for all future learning.

How do babies learn?

Play-based activities are a valuable learning technique for infants. In their first year, babies learn largely through experience and observation, using their senses — their eyes, ears, mouth, nose and hands — to make new discoveries. Bright colours, sensory textures and new sounds provide endless learning opportunities for babies. Rolling, playing on the floor, climbing and crawling all help babies develop body awareness and encourage them to move independently so they can better explore their surroundings.

What are some play-based learning activities to try?

Playing comes naturally to babies, but it’s important to ensure the play is both challenging and fun!

  • Aquafaba foam: children love to paint, mix, squish and play with aquafaba foam. Simply whisk the liquid from a can of chickpeas with a little bit of cream of tartar for a delightfully fun foam that is waste-free and child-safe.
  • Colourful spaghetti: playing with bright, coloured spaghetti is a fun way to engage the senses.
  • Water balloons: rolling, slipping and bouncing water balloons is a fantastic way to improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
  • Cellophane: scrunching and crackling colourful cellophane offers a rich sensory experience for babies to discover.
  • Balloon swat: swatting a colourful balloon and watching it float in the air is a fun way to develop visual tracking and spatial awareness skills.

At all Lifelong Learning Centres, our expert early childhood educators understand the amazing learning potential of every baby. Our Lifelong Learning approach is practiced by all 150 Lifelong Learning Centres across Australia, with each centre offering high-quality, research-driven programs for children from 6 weeks to school age.

Discover more about our research-driven learning approach or click here to discover your closest Lifelong Learning Centre and to book a free Stay-and-Play session!