When your child is at child care, it may look like he’s just playing; but he’s actually hard at work. Toddlers learn by playing. Play helps your toddler develop the muscle control, balance and coordination necessary to master gross motor skills like running and pedaling a tricycle. Play also helps your toddler hone the fine motor skills he needs to feed and dress himself. Each new skill your toddler masters prepares him to take the next step in his physical development.