Children need time to play with others as well as by themselves but they also love to play with parents or other significant adults. While play is fun and relaxing, it is also a way for children to learn and practise life skills within their culture. It can also help them manage their feelings about things that happen in their lives and helps build relationships. Through play, they learn many things and develop language, motor and emotional skills. The benefits to your child of having regular play time with you far outweigh the struggle it can be to set all other commitments aside and ‘put on’ your play mind.
- Allow a good amount of time to play with your child where you can focus on the play (phones away!).
- Let your child set the game and play along. Be careful not to control the direction of the game. Ask questions to discover what your role is.
- Listen, listen, listen! Playtime can be a space where the child is reflecting on the activities of the day or on events they have experienced.
- If they raise an issue they are concerned about, try to use a game to help your child explore their concerns. Eg. Books, puppets, etc. Some very meaningful chats can happen just by throwing a ball with your child or going for a walk on the beach.
- Among your gifts of toys include such things as art supplies; seeds to plant; sets of animals/cars; cards; old clothes; origami paper; play dough; musical instruments (even a pan and wooden spoon).
- Ensure the game is safe.
- Be silly with them and have fun!
When children have a lot on their minds, they need physical activity to help them discharge the emotional energy from them bodies. Laughing, giggling, perspiring and yelling are all helpful in this process. You may find it will be helpful for you too.
At Angel’s Paradise, play is an integral part of both our active and quiet activities, to stimulate your child’s emotional and social development, as well as the physical.