It’s playtime! Try these useful tips the next time you play with your child and watch her discover the world around.
Every child loves to play. It’s how they learn and discover the world around them. Even a simple game of peekaboo teaches them the concept of object permanence and no doubt fails to send them into a fit of giggles. Besides play being a social activity, young children also learn about themselves and others through play. So now that you have a little one at home, here’s what you need to know when it comes to playtime.
Take a Look Around
First things first. Be sure your environment is conducive for play. Organisation is key. Arrange your child’s play area such that they can see their toys and choose what they want to play with. Besides paying attention to the surroundings, be sure to choose a time during the day when you are free from other distractions, and can relax and play.
Let Your Child Take Control
Playtime allows your child to use her imagination and embrace creativity. Let them take the lead and avoid taking control of playtime. If your child is unsure about trying something new, have a go at it yourself and let her know that it’s safe. This will give her more confidence to try out new things and activities.
Variety is key
When deciding on what to play, remember that variety is key. Keep things fun and your child interested by providing many different opportunities – indoor and outdoor play, playdates or even individual play. Even what they play with matters. From pots and pans to dolls and cars, they’re learning every time.
Play time should allow your child to have fun and be creative. Resist the desire to teach or direct how she should play. If she insists on using a remote control as a phone, let her. Sit back and watch, and you’ll be surprised where a child’s imagination may take them.
Don’t Interrupt Their Creative Process
Between the ages of two and four, children engage primarily in parallel play, where they can play alongside others but are not yet ready to play directly with other people. During this stage, it is important that you don’t intrude into their play without them asking for help, as they will see you as exactly that – an intruder. However, you may join in their play, by offering suggestions or a missing piece of the puzzle, for instance.
Ditch the Gadgets
Okay so maybe, getting rid of the gadgets on the whole might not be very realistic but while interactive apps and shows can be a useful learning tools for kids, limit its use. Avoid using them as babysitting tools and leaving your kids in front of the television for hours on end. Not only will this affect her eyesight, it may even cause poor social interaction in the future.
Let’s Play it Again
If you don’t know it yet, you’ll soon discover that your kids love doing things over and over again. Sure, it might not be the most exciting for you but they’re practicing to get it just right, till they can do it all by themselves! And trust me, when they achieve it, they’ll be one proud tot. With one success, they’ll likely go on to try new challenges, achieving more along the way and thus, learning and discovering even more.