Talk & Play

Benefits of Play

Play is so important that it is considered a human right for children.

Play is good for us. Children learn best through play and this learning happens every day through the experiences and the fun they have.

  • Every time you give your baby attention, chat and smile, or let them know you are there for them when they are upset, they are learning to trust you.
  • Every time you talk, sing and read to your child you are helping them learn the words that they need to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
  • Every time you help your child to learn a new skill or understand a new experience, you are helping them feel good about themselves and make sense of their world.

Playing with children throughout their baby days and childhood will build strong and lasting bonds. It helps build their self esteem, confidence and gives better life chances.

Did You Know?

Parents who talk as they go about their daily activities expose their children to 1000 - 2000 words every hour!

Dive Deeper

Benefits For Babies

When you respond to your baby’s needs and talk and play with them, you support brain development and increase oxytocin (the feel good hormone). This means that your baby will have a better start in life and is more likely to be settled, happier and quicker to comfort. The strong bond you build will help them make healthy relationships with others as they grow up too.

Even the tiniest babies learn by watching and ‘chatting’ with the people close to them. The more you talk and play with them every day the better!

Benefits For Pre-Schoolers

Toddlers are often balls of energy who want to know more about the world around them. Many are finding out what their bodies can do and are enjoying new sounds and words. Playing with people they are safe with and that they trust, gives them confidence to explore and try new things.

Play makes learning fun; there is no need for expensive toys and outings. Children value time with you the most.

Benefits For Older Children

As children grow older they still learn and benefit from play, they still have a lot of life skills to learn and it will come easier when they are having fun. Cooking, gardening, puzzles and games as well as sports and activities are good ways to spend time together.

Relationships between teenagers and parents begin to change during puberty. Having fun together will keep the bond between you strong. It will help keep you 'in the loop' of what is important in their lives. Knowing you want to spend time with them even when it may not feel cool, shows your child that you care and value time with them. This helps their self esteem and confidence. Remember keep offering to do things with them even when they turn you down!

Find out more about communicating with older children

If You Are Worried

Firstly remember that each child will develop at their own pace. Spend as much time as you can playing and talking with your child without distractions – even 5 minutes here and there adds up and can make a big difference.

If your child attends nursery or a registered childminder, talk to them about your worries – they will be able to work with you to build your child’s skills and advise on any next steps needed.

You can also contact our Just One Number team on the details below to talk through your concerns. The team may ask about your child's hearing and vision to be sure this is not getting in the way of their communication skill development.

Things That Get In They Way

Knowing the importance of play gives us the chance to have fun with our children, however other things can get in the way. Families have told us they sometimes find it difficult play.

Fun Activities to Try

Just chatting to your child is one of the best things you can do for their development!

Why not try talking to them about the things you see every day, like the colour of buses or cars?

Find out more

By playing with their families, children develop essential skills like problem-solving, creativity, and social interaction.

Whether it’s building blocks, playing characters, or exploring nature, playtime is essential.

Who can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


Log In / Create An Account

Forgot password?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Was This Page Helpful?

Latest From Social Media