Parents can help their children learn, make new discoveries, and enjoy adventures by encouraging play time activities.
When Children Devise Their Own Play
How many times do you hear some children say, “I’m bored.” This is the opportunity to help them find their own ways of creating play. Encourage them to go in a room you don’t mind messing up and doing “whatever you want that tells a story.”
Making forts from couch pillows, creating hide-outs under big trees, playing house and school and going to work are all the different ways kids create their own views of the world.
When children play with a doll house, for example, they make up stories that actually communicate their views of family life. Some kids are so transparent they even give the dolls their own names! It’s a great way to listen in from a distance and hear how they view their parents, the ways grown-ups and kids get along together, and the activities they think are important.
When they play, parents should not interfere or even give suggestions. This is a time for kids to create on their own and they are avid story tellers. It’s also a way they solve conflicts and devise interesting solutions to problems.
When Parents Offer More Structured Activities
Structured play is another way to learn. Baking, crafts, athletics, trampolines, board games, video games and drawing with varied media are multiple ways to encourage kids to create and express themselves. Kids enjoy when parents join in and show they are interested in what is fun for kids.