PLAYING TO LEARN Playing is your baby's job! When you're ten months old, anything and everything can seem new and interesting. Most activities represent opportunities for fun and learning - whether it is seeing what happens when you slowly push your dinner, piece by piece over the edge of your feeding tray, or emptying Mummy's handbag all over the floor while she's busy talking to her friend. Even the most common of routines, like taking a bath, can be turned into a challenging game as you help your baby sink an empty bottle under the water to produce big bubbles. With a little imagination, you can constantly encourage your child's development through play. Learn to see the "fun potential" in objects around the home and during daily activities. For instance, that cardboard box you were going to throw out could provide hours of entertainment. And why not distract your little one when nappy changing his nappy by teaching him to clap along to a familiar nursery rhyme. By trying to look at every situation through your baby's eyes, you can quickly find ways to make it more entertaining and even educational.
LEARNING TO PLAY Babies learn through play, but they also need a hand learning how to make the most of playing. Your little one watches your every move, and most of his actions and reactions are modelled on your behaviour. So your guidance and encouragement can help him become more inquisitive, confident and sociable. Involve your baby in your activities whenever possible, turn chores into games and prompt him to investigate how objects feel, sound, or move. Point out interesting things when you're out together - remember, his language comprehension is already well underway even though he isn't yet talking. Get together with other babies - one is never too young to make friends! And always offer lots of reassurance as you encourage him to explore new surroundings, interact with new people and try out new activities. He needs to know you're there, offering security and familiarity, while he is busy being sociable and adventurous.