Stage One: 0-3 Years
The first stage of developmental play
This is sensory/embodiment play. This is messy, noisy, touch-based play and you should know by looking at your child what they have been laying as it will be ALL over them...and likely your home too. Think about sand, water, play-doh, slime, finger-paint, musical instruments (pasta in a lunch-box or a pot and plastic ladle are perfectly fine instruments) and dance are all great at this stage of development. It is through this stage of play that children learn that they have a skin that contains them and marks where they end and the world/people outside of them begin.
This stage of play is about containment and boundaries, which is why the box the toy came in is of more interest than the toy itself. Boxes are literal containers and they will enjoy climbing in/out and filling up/emptying the boxes. Rhythm and synchrony are a great way to trigger the sub-systems of the brain associated with emotional regulation and at this stage, from infancy really, they love singing and dancing. So play some music and get silly and dance together and/or sing your way through the day and what you want them to do so that they feel part of all that is happening around them.
15-Minute Parenting 0–7 Years
Parenting is for life – 7 days a week, 24 hours a day – and while it is one of the most rewarding experiences life can offer, it can also be frustrating when faced with challenging behaviour. But what if just 15 minutes of mindful playtime each day in you and your child’s routine could change all that?