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Group of young children playing

A parent's gift guide for sensory play

We want to buy gifts our children will enjoy, but taking a moment to look at our choices through the eyes of an occupational therapist can influence our selection in ways that can also help our child build confidence, resilience and self care skills.

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Girl building a tower of wooden blocks

Boost imagination with ‘loose parts’ play

It’s easy to define toys as objects with a distinct form: a car, a doll or a toy train. However, if we broaden our definition of playthings to include everyday objects or 'loose parts', we can promote imagination and create rich play for children.

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Brother and sister playing on the lawn

The importance and benefits of free play

In an effort to give children the best possible start in life it is possible to fill every spare moment with activities. This does however put pressure on parents and risks leaving little time for vital play, an important part of brain development.

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Child climbing a jungle gym at an indoor playground

Perseverance: Teaching the value of effort

Learning to persevere is an important skill for children to learn and researchers have found parents play a very valuable role in modelling the behaviour. It’s all about trying, failing, and if you are a parent, being seen to fail without giving up.

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Music a key to childhood learning

Give a child a pot, a pan and a wooden spoon – or even their own hands, feet and voice – and music can be made. As well as the intellectual and academic benefits, music is enabling children to identify, understand and, to a degree, process emotions.

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Baby on the floor with coloured blocks

Peek-a-boo, I want to play with you!

From the moment they’re born, our babies are working hard to absorb their new world, getting down to the business of learning and growing. Naturally inquisitive and geared for play, babies brains are born ready to learn through play-based learning.

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