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One of the most important aspects of childhood is play; in fact, it’s the primary process through which young children learn and develop, says Parents as Teachers National Center. Very important things happen when your child plays. It’s through sensory experiences, such as those children encounter through play, that cells in the brain develop connections. Play encourages these connections to multiply and become more efficient.

Play enhances all areas of a child’s development. Play helps develop a child’s curiosity, self-esteem, strength and coordination, self-direction and values. Children become more skilled at math, language, cooperation and problem solving. Here’s a parenting tip: encourage problem solving by asking questions like, “Oh, my blocks keep falling over! What should I do?”

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