The benefits of playing with and connecting with your child through play cannot be overstated. As children learn how to interact with and thrive in their environment, playing is an important way that exercises children mentally, emotionally, and physically. Children who have parents and caregivers that play with them and connect with them through play are often happier, more confident, and more resilient in times of hardship.
You don’t have to be a super parent to play with your child or come up with complicated lesson plans, or a constant stream of things for them to do to qualify as play. In fact, children respond well to simple activities that are often driven by their own sense of play and games.
Part of connecting with your child through play is being present. Put away your phone, turn off the TV or tablet, and have fun! Keep reading below for some tips!
Types of play and some ideas:
Physical play can include games such as catch, soccer, shooting hoops, tossing a frisbee, biking, hiking in the woods, and more. This type of play keeps your child physically strong and healthy and can help boost their self-esteem and sense of purpose.
Imaginative and Creative Play.
This type of interaction can be one of the best forms for children who are making sense of how they’re feeling and what they’re going through. Support your child’s imagination by asking questions about what you’re observing to better understand your child and connect with them. Some ideas are making art with your child, and letting them lead in dress-up and other activities.
Things included under this umbrella are board games, puzzles, chess, or other types of games that require more problem-solving skills. Try a new board game, puzzle, or video game with your child that teaches them skills such as strategizing, logical thinking, or creative solutions.