Hi everybody, I am super excited for today’s show. We are talking about one of my favorite topics, play. Babies learn best through play. It enhances their cognitive, socio emotional, and neurological development. My first nugget is a strong emotional connection when you play with your baby. What that means is you guys are attuned together. The baby smiles, you smile. The baby turns their head, you turn your head. Your kind of in sync together, laying the foundation, for the back and forth conversation that they will use throughout their life. We call it a circle of communication. It is so much fun to do with your baby. Next, follow your baby’s lead. This will help lay a foundation for them to be motivated and excited about their interests. So, if your baby is gazing up at the lights above, show your interested in what they are looking at too. This will allow them throughout their life to go after what they are interested in versus your baby is kind of looking around and finds a light that they are excited about, but your shaking a rattle in front of their face. That’s you introducing something to them, your actually interfering with what they are excited about. We want it to be following their lead not ours. It’s such a great thing to have mapped in their brain that will play a role through their life. Number three, read your baby’s cues. How do you know when your baby wants to play and when they don’t want to. If your baby is gazing at you, it’s an instant cue that they are ready to play. If they are gazing at you, and your playing back, but they turn their head around away, they are cuing you that they are done playing. So you actually stop and you pause and wait until they turn back and gaze at you again, you go ahead and reengage with them. Being on target with their cues will make a huge difference in that interactive play for you and your baby. Next, the optimal time for play is when your baby is in that quiet alert state. Their eyes are bright and wide looking up at you, it’s almost like their shinning. A lot of times you are going to see this right when they wake up. This is an excellent time to play with them, because it’s the time that their brain takes in the most for learning, which is perfect for you and your baby. Number five, your face is your newborns favorite toy. Face to face play really optimizes that emotional connection that will stimulate your baby’s brain. Number six, wait, watch, and wonder. When your baby is looking at something, wait, be curious. Watch, take a step back and observe what they are looking at. And wonder, start to think how might they be seeing this. To really get a sense of where your baby is coming from. That wait, watch, and wonder, is such a great way to join where your baby is at for play. My final nugget is to narrate to your baby. This is my personal favorite, to really throughout the day put words to their expiernces to their actions, to your actions. It’s going to map in and lay a foundation for not only language development, but, for awareness, and a sense of how to interact, and what to expect throughout their day. Which is all a part of play. So there you have it. I know these nuggets have been invaluable to the parents I work with and I hope they really help you too. I will see you next time.