Why play is important for parents and kids
"The most favorite toy of a child is the parent"
When parents play with their children, they create magic and fill up the emotional backpack of their child. When a child feels sad or is being separated from his parents, he can take out of that backpack an extra mamma kiss or a big warm daddy hug.
Mentally the child will feel stronger and safe, because he knows that his base is at home, there where his mom, dad or both of them take care of him, where they dedicate special playtime to him.
It is very easy to play, read my three best play tips HERE.
Being a Parent
Nowadays the hardest job in the world is being a parent, always in search of wanting the best for our child. And the worrying for them never stops, even when the children are grown up and out of the house. So we take care of our children, we worry for them, we love them BUT still we spend little real time with them.There always seems work to do: inside the house as a (house)wife/man or for your boss on the workfloor. Besides we also like to have time for us and our friends. In this hectic frame our children are searching together with us how to BE, how to grow up and how to develop in a balanced way: cognitive; social-emotional; motoric. Or better how to be a thinking, feeling and moving child (Rae Pica “Fitting Physical Fitness into the Day”).
Playtime makes parents "slower": take it easy, don’t have too many expectations, following the rythm of your child. (Carl Honoré, “slow kids”). I've noticed that in play my child could express herself in many different ways and that this gave me the chance to really know and understand her.
"Children learn to smile from their parents" (Parent’s Tao te Ching)
During playtime with their parents, children are learning—that they are loved and important and that they are fun to be around. These social-emotional skills give them the self-esteem and self-confidence they need to continue building loving and supportive relationships all their lives. A parent, is the child's very first and favorite playmate. From the beginning of the child's life, he is playing with mommy or daddy, whether he is watching their faces at feedtime or listening to their voices as parents sing to him during his diaper change. He is at work, learning and exploring (zerotothree.org).
Play can be done in different kind of ways. Through music, movement, creativity, massage or foreign languages. It doesn't really matter what a parent is doing together with his child, important is HOW they are doing it. The keyword is always to show respect for that what the child is involved in, to give him a chance to explore independently. Letting go of having any personal expectations, like "why is the child not doing like this or like that"?. I believe, inspired by Reggio Children, that all children are born with innate potentials and that they only need a chance to be discovered. As RIE's - approach experts Janet Lansbury and Lisa Sunbury many times emphasizing "Observe and wait" while raising your child.
Play is serious work
Playing doesn't have to cost a lot of time or money. A couple of minutes of handplay, singing a song or doing peek a boo can make the difference for a child. Also materials as empty boxes, paper-bags, used straws, kitchen tools, an old pair of shoes are perfect to recycle and give them a new meaning. Under this article you can find some links to a few of my international playfriends. They show us how to do more with less, have a fun time at home and in the mean time create early learning experiences. The playing outside is a wonderful oppurtunity to get in contact with nature and work on gross motor skills.
Playing is important, the most important activity during childhood. Not only it improves motorskills, strength, coordination it also keeps the child in a very good physical and mental shape.
I wish you a happy & FUN playtime, and I am sure that we adults enjoy it as much as our children, because it brings out our innerchild!
More beautiful LOVE pictures you can find in:
> my special bonding gallery
You've might also like these articles:
> The importance of Play by the fabulous Imagination Tree
Links to FUN activities to do at home, childcare or preschool:
> Sensory play with an empty cardbox : An amazing Child
> Bubble printing fun with soap : The chocolate Muffin Tree
> Side walk paint with cornstarch : Hands on as we grow
> Making playdough : Sun hats & Wellie Boots
> For a complete overview of many playactivities : Playopedia