Why focus on this?
When caregivers play with children, they are teaching problem-solving and social interaction skills, but this kind of play doesn’t come naturally to every caregiver, resulting in missed opportunities with lasting consequences. Interactions such as cuddling, eye contact, vocalisations and gestures are mutually enjoyable and build an emotional bond between caregiver and child, helping the child to understand the world around them. These interactions play a vital role in stimulating connections in the brain.
Moreover, in many urban settings unstructured outdoor play simply isn’t possible, with safe and clean spaces out of reach for most families. Being outside can provide endless opportunities to use the large muscles, think creatively, and learn more about the environment. Physical exercise can help to improve the mood of both children and their caregivers. Learn more about the importance of physical activity for young children.
Number and percentage of:
- Caregivers who interact positively (e.g. talk, sing, play, respond) with their child regularly
- Children under five years of age who engage in outdoor play with their caregivers at least two times a week