Play is an essential way in which children learn. It helps to build self-worth by giving children a sense their own abilities, while helping to build self-esteem. Because it’s fun, children often become absorbed in what they are doing. In turn, this helps to develop the capacity to concentrate. Providing children with different playthings will help them learn in a number of ways.
As a parent, what is my role in play?
Parents are their children’s first and greatest playmates. Parents have a role in being involved in their children’s play. Children tend to be more creative when their parents are involved in their play. The best play occurs when the adult plays beside the child, rather than just providing the toys or overseeing. Becoming part of a child’s play may take practice. Some suggestions for joining your child’s play include:
Observe- Watch your child carefully to learn what he or she can do. Also, be aware of your child’s favorite activities.
Follow- Join in and play with your child so that he or she knows you are interested in what he or she is doing. You can add to the complexity of the play; however, let your child be in control and determine the direction of play.
Be creative- Use toys in different ways, and you will be amazed at how many different ways you can play with one toy. Being creative will make playing more fun for you and your child.
The next time you are playing with or observing your child play, take some time to marvel at all the developmental domains your child is targeting:
● Social Competence
● Intellectual Competence
● Emotional Competence
● Life Skills