Playing with your child is a great way to connect and make memories but it can be boring and hard for some parents.
Before I had children I had visions of sitting with my child to do some fun craft or play with those Fisher and Price Little People toys and create up imaginative scenes. But the reality was somewhat different. I would set up some toys or an activity and within 5 minutes my daughter’s interest would be lost and I would have to find something different for us to do.
If you send your child to daycare or kindy, then the day to day activities are sorted for you, but when you’re at home it can be disheartening when you grab inspiration from pinterest, set up a new play activity and your child is entertained for a short amount of time.
Children learn through play so it’s worth persevering setting up different toys and activities for the day so that your child can go from one activity to the next to the next.
Is playing with your child really that important?
Research suggests it definitely is. Play is important from babyhood and as the child develops and gets older. Play is their time to be independent and assists in the child’s social and emotional development.
So how can we make play fun for both the child and the parent? Mix up the play with activities that you both enjoy.
Follow your child’s lead because if they are interested in doing a particular activity, they will stay at it for more than 5 minutes.
Set up play stations for your child and mix them up everyday. This doesn’t have to be hard, but may take a bit of organizing. Change the toys each day so one day have blocks and playdough out and the next have dolls and painting. And to ensure the activities don’t get mixed, set up zones.
If you are particular about mess in the home, do the messy activities outside or find an area that can be the mess zone. If I’m honest, painting doesn’t thrill me at home, I prefer to keep that activity at Kindy, but my girls love it so I have bought magic water painting books where you can paint using water and one brush. Colouring in books that have the painted areas coloured for your child are also another great way to combat this idea without the mess.
Use simple items around the house to create scenes that your child can do some imaginative play around. Build a castle or a cubby and get some pens and pencils and decorate the outside.
As an adult, we have to go back to our inner child and remember what we used to enjoy doing as a child (if we can remember). Pinterest can be a great resource of play ideas if you’re struggling.
In the coming weeks we will bring together some play ideas that are age appropriate for your child.
What activities do you enjoy doing with your child? Have you ever found it hard to play with your child?