Don’t underestimate the power of an afternoon spent playing together. Playing is an important part in the child’s development and strengthens the bond between parent and child. All you need to do is create a suitable environment for your child, choose a game or toy your child is interested in, take your time and watch. The game will develop intrinsically, because playing comes naturally to children.
Watch your child’s reaction to find out whether he or she enjoys playtime:
- «positive emotions»: playing is fun, but you can’t force children to play.You can, however, give inspirationand show them how to start.
- «flexibility»: once children have chosen a game, they will adapt it to suit their capabilities. It is very important that games are age appropriate.
- «pretend»: Children constantly change reality in their games and bend it to suit their needs. It is their way of experiencing the world.
- «for the sake of the game»: A child does not play in order to learn. But learning is a very useful side-effect.
Children’s games develop along the following stages:
- Exploration: the child learns about itself and other objects.
- Symbolic games: the child reinterprets objects and gives them new meaning.
- Role-play: the child takes on different roles and acts them out with the partner in the playing.
- Games with rules: the game is played according to the (arbitrary) rules previously defined.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you engage in baby talk with your child, whether you build lego towns or play card games with your teenage sons and daughters – playing together will create a positive atmosphere and strengthen the bond among all members of a family.
When you buy toys and games check the recommended age. It is frustrating for children to be constantly overstretched or insufficiently challenged. Instead of enjoying the game, they will lose interest very quickly.