Babies start learning the moment they are born. And much of a baby’s learning is achieved through movement. For instance, your baby learns that moving their head takes their eyes to your face, or that moving their mouth makes a smile. They also eventually learn that they have hands that can hit things and feet that can go inside their mouth. Learning all of these things can be nurtured by free play and movement on the floor.
Indeed, playing on the floor is very important for babies, as it provides them with many opportunities for learning. Besides investing in wooden math toys and other educational toys, it is necessary to allow your little one to play independently on the floor, so that they can learn and develop their skills more. To understand more about this, here is everything you need to know about the importance of floor time for babies.
The Meaning of Independent Floor Time
Independent floor time basically means allowing your baby to play freely on the floor. Compared to older children, free play on the floor actually looks different in infants. Nonetheless, the concept is still the same – you are not in your baby’s face all the time, thereby allowing them to be independent with toys near them.
To give your baby independent floor time, you can lay them on their tummy or back on a mat. You should then stay nearby in case they cry or look for you. To trigger various senses and muscle groups, it is highly recommended to switch up your baby’s positions from time to time. A play gym is an ideal place to put your baby in for some floor time since it has many fascinating toys to look at and play with.
Skills That Independent Floor Time Helps Build
Independent floor time is important not just because it gives your baby an opportunity to play and learn on their own but also because it helps your baby develop several vital skills. Here are the essential abilities your precious little baby can improve by playing freely on the floor:
Independence is one of the most important qualities your baby can develop through floor time. By having your baby on a safe floor area, you are allowing them to play on their own, while you take care of other things, such as preparing a meal in the kitchen or working on something nearby. In essence, free play on the floor gives your infant the security and independence they need to explore the world.
2. Motor skills
Independent floor time enables your baby to be out of their cribs and carriers, which do not allow them to utilise their big muscles. Indeed, lack of adequate movement can hinder the development of your baby’s motor skills. By giving them time on the floor, you are giving your baby the opportunity to work and strengthen their big muscles, so that they can eventually do roll over, tummy time, crawl, and walk.
When babies play on the floor surrounded by their favourite toys, they can develop their ability to reach for items and learn problem-solving skills. For instance, if your baby’s favourite toy is out of reach, they can utilise their skills to reach for that item and learn how to use their body to attain their goal. This can then eventually lead them to learn movements, such as rolling and crawling.
When a baby rolls over, have you seen how joyful they become when they can roll back? This is a great thing since it is important for babies to feel proud of themselves. While they may require your assistance or guidance in completing these movements at first, your baby will surely feel so proud of their hard work once they finally figure things out. Basically, by giving them independent floor time, you can encourage your little ones to develop confidence in their abilities.
Free play on the floor has many different benefits for babies. Besides giving them the opportunity to play freely and enjoy their learning journey, independent free time helps your baby develop necessary skills more easily, such as independence, motor skills, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence.
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