Play is quite funny to adults because it is free of purpose. To play is to allow yourself the chance to explore and show things without fear of judgment. If adults played more often the world might be a less stressed place.
When babies and children play they are not concerned about learning particular skills, they are just expressing themselves and having fun. But researchers tell us that play is an essential part of growing up. It leads to children being able to communicate, express themselves and concentrate which is fundamental to getting on in the world.
Children play because it helps them to make sense of the world around them. Researchers have also found that it does not matter where in the world children are, they still play in similar ways. But play does develop differently in different cultures as children beginning to understand values and the rules of particular societies. So play will change as a baby's society changes.
Encourage children to play because it is the one time in their lives when they can really be children. And it is wonderful to see and learn from.
Nursey Toys Guide for further information and advice about playing with babies from birth to two years old