If you have very young children, you are of course concerned primarily about their safety and development. You will be looking at early learning programs and trying to ensure that your loved ones progress carefully and methodically through the education system. However, did you realise that playtime is equally as important when it comes to their overall well-being? What should you bear in mind here, so that your kids progress on all levels?
Why This Is so Crucial
Experts believe that playtime allows children to develop emotionally and socially, in addition to helping them develop a healthy body and mind. For example, it lets them build self-confidence and internal skills, while also helping them to manage their feelings and understand the needs and wants of others. They will learn all about role-play, when they should follow or lead and how they need to be patient at certain moments. All in all, playtime will help children to make sense of a complex world and reduce overall stress levels as a consequence.
Striking a Balance
Parents and adult caretakers must ensure that they allow a sufficient amount of time each and every day for play, rather than focusing too much on education. Of course, they need to make sure that playgrounds and spaces are safe, as are the toys and other elements that are introduced. However, while the grown-ups will provide the location and some other resources, they should leave the children to develop their own playtime experiences if at all possible. They should get used to following the lead of their children and only joining in if they are invited, rather than trying to turn the playtime into yet another lesson or being overly critical of a certain activity.
When to Be Involved
While the parent should be more of a supervisor than a director during playtime, it is nonetheless important to realise how critical their presence or involvement may be. It can take some practice to know when your children are ready for you to interact with them. Not all kids will physically signal this, so you need to be aware.
When Things Go Wrong
You do need to be supportive as well, because playtime is not always fun. Sometimes, one individual can be overly assertive and can hurt the feelings of another, and a certain amount of frustration or disappointment is commonplace. Parents can help their children to get used to this type of disappointment and encourage them to be diverse in their choice of playmates.
Getting Further Advice
Contact an early learning centre like Hopskotch Kindergarten, if you have any questions about the integration of playtime into your child's day.