Small children are like soft clay. They learn by imitation. Structured play activities help you teach them life values and problem-solving attitude. The importance of playing with your child cannot be emphasized enough. Play fosters healthy child development and helps in creating strong child-parent bonds.
Why is play essential?
Play is important as it allows children to enhance their cognitive, social and physical well-being along with their emotional quotient. Both structured and free play is important for a child. Many families today lead a very busy life and there is hardly any time left over for play. Play can introduce a sense of balance in the child’s life. Very young children need the stimulation that play offers for motor coordination and growth in general.
Play is deemed very important for the rapid brain development that a child experiences in early childhood. How much quality time with kids is important is a question that is the burning one! Children need time that is concentrated on them. Parents can use playtime to build bonds and strong ties. These bonds last them a lifetime. Children learn to communicate effectively with parents. You can use playtime to teach life lessons to your child.
How much playing time with kid is enough?
How Much Do We Really Need to Play With Our Kids? There is no specific time that you need to play with your children. Just ensure that you give your child undivided attention when she is playing with you. A short half an hour after a full day is also enough at times. Try to put in more time on weekends as kids expect to do things with you then. If you have more than a single kid, make time to include individual activities with each child every day.
It is also important that your child learns to spend time alone or with other kids in a constructive manner. That inculcates independence in the child. Most children are happy with an hour or so every day. Play could include physical, board and simulated play. Play times boosts creativity and imagination. Ensure that each day’s play is talked about and discussed, maybe repeated for maximum benefit. This can be a casual addition to dinner table conversation.
Play time should be sacred. If you have built a routine around play time, take care to stay committed to the time. Your child sees it like a promise to spend time together. Play is leisurely and fun. You are at ease and can relax with your child. Play time should come naturally and spontaneously. Make it a point to give choices of games to your child. It boosts the decision-making skill of the child, and also promotes free play.
There are no fixed guidelines to how much play time you have with your child. Take the time to understand the needs of the child. Some children are more independent than others. They need less personal time and are extroverted. Some children are shy and need more time with the parents. See what pattern suits you best and implement the same. Play can change the way your child interacts with you. Make the most of it!