Why Is Playtime Important To Child Development

This is the second part of the article – Why Does my Toddler Give Me Things To Hold?

Why is the Play Time with Your Toddler Important?

Play has multiple benefits for your child’s development and health. At this age, kids still play alongside each other, rather than with each other.

However, a toddler enjoys playing with adults, particularly with their attachment figures such as parents and caregivers.

Play time with your toddler is beneficial in many ways.

Here are a couple of reasons why play time with your young child is so important.

Play Boosts Your Toddler’s Skills

As young children develop and grow, they begin to acquire more and more new skills. Through play, you can help your toddler develop important language, social-emotional, cognitive, and motor skill sets.

For example, playing with your child is a great way to encourage social and self-control skills.

When your toddler gives you a toy to hold, and you hand it back, you help her learn about important social skills of turn-taking, patience, and respect.

Also, through pretend play and other games, you are teaching your child empathy, positive emotional expression, and emotional regulation.

Unstructured Play

Unstructured play helps your toddler understand non-verbal communication and recognize other people’s feelings.

Unstructured play also boosts your child’s cognitive development, encouraging her to make connections and build upon existing knowledge.

By playing with your child, you are encouraging hers problem-solving and helping her to understand cause and effect, anticipate and predict outcomes, and practice eye-hand coordination.

Interactive play is providing your toddler with a relaxing environment, which helps alleviate stress and anxiety when she is upset.

Free play encourages your toddler to make connections and understand her environment.

It also helps develop communication, express ideas, and build language vocabulary and fluency.

As an adult, you know much more about the world than your toddler or her older siblings.

Therefore, you can offer more varied play and widen your child’s imagination and creativity.

Finally, play and movement encourage gross and fine motor skills development, helping children practice and master their control and coordination.

Play Strengthens the Bond with Your Toddler

There is something special about playing with your child that creates a special bonding experience.

A positive interaction through play enhances the brain’s stress response system and promotes your toddler’s healthy development.

The affection that your child experiences while playing with you paves the way for your child’s development and growth.


There are various reasons why your toddler gives you toys to hold. Mostly, this behavior has to do with your child’s learning and development.

It is at the same time a learning process, a call for play, and a bid for connection and affection which you should support and reinforce.


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