Rolling around on the floor with your baby, playing in your toddler’s pretend kitchen, or sitting down to a board game with your teenager has countless benefits – not just for your child, but for you too. Play is often when your child is learning the most. And while there’s a time for alone play and play with other kids, playing together with your child as a parent is good for both of you. Here’s why…
It gets you both outside and active: Playing with your child can be as simple as going to the park or running around in a field. Push them on the swings, pick out shapes in the clouds, or kick a soccer ball around. Fresh air is necessary and beneficial for everyone, and sometimes a quick game of catch is the perfect way to squeeze in a mini workout.
You can help shape how your child interacts socially: How your child plays with you is the foundation for how they play with others. Play games that emphasize sharing and taking turns, and be sure to give them your full attention.
It can provide valuable bonding time: Life gets busy and distractions are everywhere. Sometimes I feel like I spend all day near my daughter– chauffeuring, cooking, cleaning up after her – but very little time with her. Play time, even just for half an hour a day, can be a great way to stop and spend some serious one on one time together.Challenge yourself to really #play with your kids. Every day! Click To Tweet
Play helps build their imagination: Tell stories, create art, and play pretend. It’s easy to turn on the TV or set your child up with an electronic game. But when you get down to basics together, you help your child tap into and grow their imagination.
It’s fun: We grow up and forget that playing is fun! No matter how busy or stressed I may be, having a tea party with my daughter makes me smile. Let play time become a welcome distraction from a hectic day.
So, drink the imaginary tea, dig out the baseball and bat from the garage, or head to the park. I promise you, and your child, will have fun.