Playtime is an important aspect in a growing child's life. More than fun and games, this is where kids start discovering and exploring interests that can help them decide what career to pursue or advocacies to support at an early age. Not only is it entertaining, but playtime also helps kids develop various skills that are integral to their growth. Playing on their own is already a good time for children, but having their parents join them makes the moment even more fulfilling. For instance, having their mom by their side can actually promote a child's healthy socioemotional development.
A study by the University of Illinois revealed that positive interactions between a mother and child during play sessions helps children gain a great approach to dealing with people and managing their emotions. According to the study, this is achieved through responsive communication between a mom and her son or daughter, which takes place when they work together through certain activities, take turns, and make each other feel proud for finishing a task or completing an objective. The researchers believe that playtime is a great avenue for parents to understand how they can collaborate with their children to maintain or increase positive interactions and emotions. This is also a great opportunity for moms to learn more about the importance of tuning in to their children's cues, and how to react accordingly towards their kid's behaviors beyond playtime.
To get the most out of your time with your child, moms should think of age-appropriate ideas for playful and mindful learning. Start with these tips as you begin to develop your own:
- Dedicate a space that is conducive for play. A good location is important in enhancing the experience that children can get out of playtime. It has to be someplace that would allow them to move comfortably. This is essential especially for infants and young children who crawl or still walk unsteadily.
- Choose simple and inexpensive toys over gadgets. Blocks, empty containers, wooden spoons, puzzles, and the like are better options when it comes to nurturing a child's creativity. While fancy electronic gadgets may be more visually appealing, too much exposure to them at a young age can result in children developing an unhealthy obsession with electronics.
- Set playdates with peers. Include other kids and their moms in your play sessions. Set a playdate and arrange for it to take place in your house so you can control the environment and observe how your child is interacting with their friends.
- Read regularly to and with your child. Reading is a great way to introduce various topics to your child. Pick books that are age-appropriate and encourage your kids to ask questions as you go along. You can also use stories as inspiration for pretend play, where you and your child can take roles and act out certain scenarios.
- Express yourselves through song and dance. Singing and dancing gives children the chance to move and unleash their artistry. Performing with your child is not only but, but it also shows them that there is no shame in singing and dancing no matter what age you are. This is a great way to teach children to be proud of their talents and motivate them to use these skills in making the people around them happy.
Running the household may be a tough task, but moms should find time to play with their children as this is beneficial to their well-being. With the right responses and positive reinforcement, playtimes with mom should be a great venue for kids' socioemotional development. There are various ways for meaningful play. Whether it is with simple toys, with friends, through stories or music, the important thing to remember is to have fun in the process and make memories from these brief but poignant moments.