PLAYING WITH YOUR CHILD
“Play is the highest form of research.”
– Albert Einstein
Studies have shown that children display higher levels of creativity, language and problem-solving skills when they interact with adults. Playtime is a great opportunity for adults and older siblings to impart knowledge, social skills and moral values in a fun, safe setting. Plus, it’s great bonding time!
When playing with your child, these general guidelines may be helpful:
- Play with your child often, especially during the early formative years.
- Compliment your child on how he or she plays. Children need to get the message that play is important.
- Create a playful atmosphere by providing suitable toys and materials. To see what’s appropriate for your child, check our Age-by-Age Toy Guide.
- Keep your child engaged by coming up with exciting new toys, games and activities.
- Supervise and intervene when necessary.
- Check materials and equipment for broken or worn parts.
And remember that children aren’t the only ones to benefit from playtime! It’s a great way for stressed and overworked parents to relax, and research shows that play is especially good for the elderly: it helps maintain memory and coordination, and keeps them sharp and alert. So no matter your age, don’t be afraid to have fun and act silly! There’s no better way to stay young at heart.
Play is a wonderful vehicle for connecting generations, whether it’s spontaneous or through planned activities. There are a ton of resources available to help plan fun outings, like TIA’s Play is Forever Playbook, and Merck Active Family Project’s activity finder feature.