Play is generally agreed upon to be something that children do quite naturally and instinctively. Most times, children play alone or with other children, with adult intervention being a rarity. While parents may find it hard to find the time and energy to become involved in play with their children, they need to take note of the fact that their involvement in play is rather important in their child’s development.
Research has suggested that the most creative children are those who have had adult involvement present during their playtime. The most productive play happens when an adult takes an active role and plays alongside the child, rather than simply providing the toys and supervising.
Dipping your feet into this may seem quite daunting at first, because we are taught as adults to stray away from childish behavior and immature things. As adults, we have the answers to a range of difficulties that children may encounter when they are trying to make sense of their smaller worlds through play. While it is important that children conjure their own solutions overtime, adults can give clues to help them before they become frustrated enough to leave the activity.
Try some of the following ideas to help your children reap the most out of their play:
Observe & Perceive
Initiate the activity by observing your child closely. This will give you an insight into his or her skill levels, their personal interests, and their favorite activities. This will in turn, enable you to selectively choose toys and games that are more appropriate for your child, while catering to their delights.
Get Involved & Participate
Take part in the activity at hand, and allocate yourself into an active role. Better yet, allow children to allocate a role to you, as many often like to do. This will also place children in control of the activity so that they can ultimately adjust, control, and determine the direction of play.
Stretch Imagination & Boundaries
Children have vivid imaginations, the type that many of us lost as we moved into adulthood due to the confinements of society and the limitations of reality. Therefore it is important that when playing with young children, we try to see the world through their eyes; with no boundaries. Rediscover the child within you.
Most Importantly, Have Fun
Playing creates time for you and your children to feel good about being around each others company, to benefit from the bonding session, and to understand each other better through fun. So most importantly, don't forget to have fun while you're at it!