Play Matters

Hints, Tips and Ideas for Playing with Your Child – Play Matters

  • Make time to laugh and play together. Playing is how young children learn best. Let them take the lead when playing and trying out their own ideas.
  • Playing outside in the fresh air is important to their health and well-being
  • Encourage running, climbing and energetic play.
  • Have fun using their senses to investigate and experiment for example pouring water in the bath, using play dough in the kitchen or digging in the soil in the garden.
  • Develop hand-eye co-ordination by throwing and catching a ball, threading beads or pasta tubes on to string, building with blocks.
  • Encourage scribbling, drawing and painting as this improves hand control
  • Encourage responsibility by letting your child get games and toys out and them tidy away afterwards
  • Pretend play will encourage their imagination to grow. For example dressing up in a variety of different clothes, playing with cars/people figures will stimulate them to pretend what the toys are doing.
  • Sharing- give children opportunities to share with others and take turns when playing games
  • Sorting games using things like socks, shoes, jigsaws, buttons can help to develop their early understanding of language and math skills
  • Early education is play based. Ask your child what he/she likes doing at pre-school and build on that at home.


Information provided from HSC Health and Social Care and the Department of Education
If you would like any further information, help or support with any of the above then please contact the Family Team at DOWN SureStart.