Playing Together Makes Baby and Parent’s Brain More Connected
Playing together is not only beneficial for the baby’s brain development, but also can make it closer to you. According to the latest research in the journal Psychological Science, this is because playing together will stimulate activity in certain parts of the brain of children and parents.
Benefits of playing together for babies and parents
Have you ever felt a strong inner bond when you invite your baby to play? A group of researchers from Princeton University, United States, studied this phenomenon by looking at the recorded brain activity of several infants and adults.
They found that the brains of babies and adults experienced a variety of similar neural activities when playing together. The nerve activity rises and falls at the same time each time the two share a toy and establish eye contact.
This research was conducted on 2 groups. In the first group, adults and infants interact directly for 5 minutes. The adults invited to play with toys, sing songs, or read stories while letting the baby sit on the lap.
In the second group, the researchers told adults, but babies were left to play with their parents. During interaction, the two groups both wore special tools to record their brain activity.
As a result, infants and adults who interact directly have similar neural activity in different parts of the brain. This similarity is not found in infants and adults who are far apart and do not meet face to face.
When communicating, infants and adults experience a condition called feedback loops. An adult’s brain is able to predict when a baby will laugh, while a baby’s brain predicts when an adult will talk to him.
Unwittingly, a baby’s brain turns ‘directs’ an adult’s brain when the two play together. These interactions occur continuously and become stronger with eye contact and the use of toys.
The best type of game based on age
Playing together provides great benefits for your child. However, don’t stop there. Encourage your baby to do the game according to his age so that the benefits are more optimal.
Launch of the American Academy of Pediatrics, here are some types of games you can try:
1. From birth to 6 months
Start by showing a response every time your baby smiles. Your facial and voice expressions can train your social and emotional abilities. Follow the voices he makes as if you were talking to him.
After a few months, invite your baby to play together by showing toys that have a variety of colors and textures. Change the position of his body so he can see various things around him from various sides.
2. Age 7-12 months
Let your child crawl and move around, but make sure the environment is safe. When he drops something, just bring it close so he can pick it up himself. Occasionally, use a mirror so that he sees the expression on his face.
3. Age 1-2 years
In this period, your main focus is to let your child explore his world. Give him toys from wood, empty container boxes, spoons, or other items that can hone his creativity. However, avoid giving it a gadget.
Let your child play with other babies his age. Once he is a little bigger, try to play by pretending to improve his learning abilities. For example pretending to eat, drink, sleep, and others.
Inviting babies to play together is one of the best steps to support their development. Therefore, make playing as a routine so that he grows into a healthy, happy, active, and full of curiosity.