Parents, do you play with your children? Do you know their favorite games?
Perhaps a game of building blocks, hide-and-seek or peek-a-boo, play house and pretend kitchen, or any other game you and your kids invented together.
“It’s important for parents to play with their children for many reasons,” said Sierra Paraan, Save the Children’s Basic Education Advisor.
“First of all, it’s important because children feel important and valued when their parents play with them,” stressed Paraan. “Parents and children also develop a special bond when they frequently play together.”
Time flies fast, your child will only be a kid once. Spend time together, make their childhood count.
Playing as a way of learning
Yes, learning can be fun.
Through playing, parents can teach values and skills to their children.
“While playing, parents can teach their children fresh perspectives on understanding or doing things,” Paraan explained.
Through playing, children may develop the following:
- Problem-solving skills
- Critical thinking
- Creativity and Resourcefulness
- Self-confidence and Social skills
- Managing one’s emotions
- Sharing and Cooperation
- Independence and School Readiness
Playing can be used to help children learn about themselves and the world around them.
It can also be used to explain lessons in math, science, and other subjects.
For example, you can pretend to be astronauts while playing and studying about the different planets in the solar system.
You can pretend to be world travelers and your child has to figure out a globe or a world map to determine your next destination.
You can also teach basic math skills by using an abacus or through made-up games. You can paint or draw together, and put up your own art exhibit at home.
In addition, games with body movement also hone a child's motor skills.
Remember, you don’t need to have the latest toys, high-tech and expensive tools to play with your children. The possibilities are endless, all you need is a little creativity.
What if I’m too busy?
For parents who are too busy or don’t have time to play with their children, take note of the following:
- Playing doesn’t have to be formal or clearly structured.
- It doesn’t require a specific schedule.
- It doesn’t need special or fancy equipment.
“For example, singing, chanting, or random invented games are already ways of playing with children,” Paraan said.
“My advice for busy parents is for them be spontaneous when it comes to playing with their children,” she added. “Because the process of playing itself is more important than the child’s output.”
So go ahead, make learning fun! Make playing a memorable experience for your family.
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