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Infants benefit from uninterrupted free play.  What does uninterrupted free play look like for infants?  Infants are working largely on their motor development during the first year of their lives.  For them to focus on this task they need to be allowed to move freely without being placed in restrictive contraptions.  Infants also need to get into positions on their own for them to learn how to get into the various positions while solving problems and strengthening their muscles.  Therefore, minimizing interruptions is important to help infants focus on the task at hand.   

According to Gopnik (2007) infants are unable to tune out stimuli and focus on one thing.  Furthermore, according to Gopnik (2007) infants sense it all and have higher awareness than adults.  Therefore, stimuli in the form of interruptions need to be minimized for infants to focus on the task at hand.  Practicing their body movements with minimal interruptions help them over time to master different motor skills.  For the child to benefit from reduced environmental stimuli, caregivers need to understand when to intervene.  For example, it is appropriate to talk to an infant when he or she makes eye contact with you.  When infants break eye contact with you that means they need a break from the experience you are providing.  Furthermore, minimizing adult conversations that are out of context to care and learning experiences of children is another strategy that can be used to help minimize interruptions.  Children of all ages can benefit from uninterrupted free play.

Click here to learn about the strategies we use to minimize interruptions in our home-based program.   


Gopnik, A. (2007). Why babies are more conscious than we are. Behavioral and

             Brain  Sciences, 30(5-6), 503-504. doi:10.1017/S0140525X0700283X


Written by Abhirami Gunasingam

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