Toddler Play: Why It’s Important for Movement and Motor Skills Development in Child Care

Motor skills play a crucial role in your child’s growth and development. They allow children to move freely, complete tasks independently, explore the world around them and meet developmental milestones. One way that children can learn, grow and develop their motor skills is through play.

Rothewood Academy’s daycare offers a safe and stimulating environment that encourages physical activity and exploration. We provide toys and equipment that encourage movement and engage children in active play indoors and outdoors. Furthermore, our outdoor play area includes natural elements that inspire active recreation, such as plants, logs, water, sand, dirt, stones, hills and trees.

Importance of Toddler Play in Child Development

Toddler play is essential for your child’s movement and motor skills development. Its benefits include:

Improved balance and flexibility

Play improves a child’s balance and flexibility by challenging their proprioception and kinesthetic abilities. Activities like playing with balls, walking on beams and riding tricycles improve their balance, increasing awareness of their bodies and environment and growing muscle endurance.

Engaging children in activities that involve moving and stretching – such as dancing, gymnastics and yoga – improves their flexibility by lengthening muscles and increasing their range of motion. Pursuits like climbing, playing with blocks and manipulating small objects can also hone fine motor skills and build flexibility in their fingers and hands.

Sharpened reflexes

Playtime at daycare can sharpen toddlers’ reflexes by providing opportunities to practise their reaction time. Through play, toddlers engage in activities that require them to respond quickly to different stimuli, like catching balls, dodging obstacles or reaching for toys. These activities speed up reaction time by strengthening the neural pathways that control movement and sensation.

Play can also encourage toddlers to reinforce reflexes that help them protect themselves, such as quickly pulling their hands away from a hot stove or turning their heads to avoid an incoming object.

Enhanced bone density and muscles

Similar to muscles, bones grow stronger the more kids use them. Children who engage in weight-bearing activities like running, walking, climbing and leaping grow stronger bones and muscles. These activities stress bones and muscles in a positive way, promoting the formation of new bone and muscle tissue.

Improved posture

Crawling, walking, climbing and jumping promote the development and strengthening of core muscles needed for good posture. Playing with items that encourage reaching and stretching, such as building blocks or stacking toys, also improve posture by strengthening muscles in the back and shoulders. Games that require children to balance and maintain control of their bodies, such as hopscotch, improve posture by promoting awareness of body position and control.

Better agility

Healthy physical pursuits like running, jumping and climbing allow your little one to enjoy greater agility. For example, running through an obstacle course can boost a child’s ability to change direction quickly and accurately. Meanwhile, play that requires kids to navigate through space, like playing hide-and-seek or tag, hones their spatial awareness. It also helps them learn to move quickly and efficiently through different environments.

Are You Looking for a Daycare in Surrey?

If you’re looking for a daycare for your child, contact Rothewood Academy.

We know that active play promotes healthy intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual and physical growth. Our teachers encourage kids to enjoy an outdoor physical activity to enhance their motor skills development. Furthermore, our natural play initiative engages, fascinates and educates them about the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

Fill out our contact form or message us to learn more about our schools and book a tour.