1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »Johnson County
  4. »Home and Family
  5. »Agent Articles
  6. »Play for a Better Brain for Baby

Johnson County

Research-based Information You Can Trust — Localized for your needs

Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

Map to our office

Play for a Better Brain for Baby

Return to Home and Family Agent Articles

Baby playing with plastic dump truckPlay is one of the most essential activities babies can do. Play allows babies to explore their environments and make sense of new and different information.

Play is crucial for brain development because it gives babies and young children opportunities to experience new things and practice existing skills.  

What babies learn while playing

  • Explore new objects and use all of their senses (sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing)
  • Test how things work to understand cause and effect
  • Practice and expand skills often learned by accidental discovery
  • Make decisions to build confidence
  • Try out new roles and begin to recognize that people see things differently
  • How to cope with stress to gain control over scary things or life changes

What can you do?

  • Provide new experiences and allow them to explore
  • Give plenty of time to try new ideas and practice skills
  • Allow space to explore new things on their own before you take over
  • Support their play by modeling other things to do with a toy
  • Allow quiet time to consolidate learning and process what they have just experienced

Other Resources

Contact Us

Denise Dias
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent