Let’s Talk Play! Keeping Play at the Heart of Early Childhood
With so many distractions and new technology arising, kids are often less interested in playing and more likely to become glued to a television or phone. However, playing is an important part of childhood, so it is essential that parents and educators encourage young children to play whenever they get the chance. Even though playing may seem like a simple pastime, it can help kids to develop essential skills, such as engaging with others and learning about their surroundings. Here are some ways to keep play at the heart of early childhood.
When kids play often, they develop a strong sense of imagination. To a kid, their surroundings can be anything they want. Even without toys or games, kids should be able to run around and enjoy the wonders of imagining interesting scenarios in their head. While parents should want their kids to eventually understand what’s real and what’s not, they should not get in the way of their child’s imagination because it will help them develop creative skills as they grow up. It can also help them to become more open-minded about the world.
Limit Use of Electronics
Electronics are a major reason as to why children generally aren’t as creative or imaginative as they used to be. Once a kid gets a hold of a video game or an app, they don’t seem to be interested in doing anything else, let alone play. Therefore, it is important to enforce rules about how much screen time a child can have to allow them to learn to play and enjoy their childhood.
Play with Them and Encourage Them to Play with Others
Kids often don’t like to play alone all the time, so parents should make sure to find time to play with their kids. Show them ways that they can play and express their creativity. Also, if you’re not available to play with them at certain points, you should encourage them to invite friends over to help spread their creativity further. However, don’t just allow them and their friends to stare at a screen every time they hang out. Suggest fun activities to keep them entertained if needed.
Teach Them How to Play by Themselves
It is also important for kids to learn to play by themselves from time to time. Kids can learn a lot by playing independently, and it can give them the freedom to choose their own stories that they can control. If you show them ways that they can play by themselves, then they will be able to find plenty of things to keep them entertained without having to rely on electronics or other people.
Technology is becoming more and more common in today’s society and parents don’t always have time to play with their kids, but it is important that kids are still taught to play in their early childhood. Playing can help kids develop imagination and creativity better and it can teach them to both work with others and be independent. Playing is more than just a hobby to pass the time because it is an essential part of every kid’s childhood.