The Importance of Play

Parenting young children takes a lot of time and attention. They always want to be playing, and they often want you to be playing with them. This can be tough though with our busy lives, and sometimes the repetitive nature of their play tests our patience. But playtime can be an important part of fostering social and intellectual growth in children. It allows them to use their imaginations in novel ways, and explore their abilities to create.

The book Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell offers some insight on this very subject.

Here is an excerpt on a few ways you can adapt play activities to meet your child’s developmental needs:

  • Think about the environment in which they are playing
    • A less stimulating environment may be helpful if your child seems uncomfortable or unhappy during play
  • How does your child respond to new things?
    • Different children respond differently to new situations, be attentive to how your child responds and cater play to their needs
  • How does your child react to different textures, smells and tastes?
    • Sensory development is important for young children
  • Involve peers
    • Try to get your child’s social skills developing. This is important at age

For more information on the importance of play see the book: Parenting from the Inside Out by: Daniel J. Siegel, Mary Hartzell


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