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10 Reasons Playing with Your Kids is So Important ”
As a parent, spending time with your children is something you do on a regular basis as a part of their care. However, did you know that engaging in play can offer a variety of benefits for both your child’s development and your mental health as a parent? While play means something different to everyone, and children of different ages will all have their own needs when it comes to recreation and development, everything from games to time outdoors has the potential to create a positive impact in your family life.
Whether your children are just starting to toddle or they’re already zooming at top speed anywhere they can go, there are so many ways you can join in on the fun for both their mental health and your own. Engaging in play is one of the most important parts of bonding with your child — here are some of the reasons why.
Improves Emotion Regulation
Engaging in play can help improve your child’s emotional skills by introducing them to a variety of environments and allowing them to learn different reaction techniques based on their environments. This may take a bit of time, but it’s definitely worth noting.
Even if your child only plays with you or other siblings and family members, playing with other people puts them in an environment where they can practice their socialization for eventual use later. It helps them relate to those around them.
Promotes Exercise and Movement
While this one depends on the type of play you’re engaging in, the ability to get outside and use play as an opportunity to explore fitness can be highly beneficial for everyone. Whether you’re five or 75, fitness and movement can offer physical and mental health benefits. Even just a few minutes each day can make a difference.
While allowing kids to play on their own and with other kids can encourage social connectiond and independence, playing together is a great opportunity to bond with your child. Through play, you can work together and build genuine connections that strengthen the love you already have!
Relieving Stress for Parent and Child
Play and recreation truly have the power to reduce stress — on some level, everyone knows this, but people often forget. Engaging in play can allow you as the parent to put your worries aside and focus on your child and their inner world, and the same can go for your child, too.
Improves Decision-Making Skills
Kids have to make all kinds of decisions in their play lives, from decisions about toys to decisions within their games of pretend. Over time, this can translate into developing real-life decision-making skills.
Whether your child is playing with you or a peer, repeatedly engaging in different types of play can help do develop skills of sharing. While kids aren’t always quick to share — and it’s important to respect their autonomy when they choose not to — repeated practice is one of the best ways to become comfortable with the idea. Sharing often doesn’t happen overnight, and that’s okay.
Lots of different types of play involve communication — both verbal and non-verbal — and practicing those skills and techniques can help to improve them and make them almost like second nature to your child. Even interactions as simple as talking about which toy to choose or which playground equipment to play on can contribute to language and communication development.
This is especially true for forms of play in public settings such as playgrounds and parks, where your child is exposed to all different kinds of people and peers. When your child learns to engage in play in a variety of situations with all different kids just like them, it can promote a wider view of inclusivity overall.
Develops Problem-Solving Skills and Creativity
You may not think that many problems are bound to come up in standard play sessions, but you’d be surprised. Whether they practice creative problem-solving in sessions of pretend or they work to solve practical obstacles, playing is a safe and controlled venue where they can practice those skills and eventually turn them into habits.
Engaging in Play With Your Kids
Playing is an important part of being a child and learning about the world, and you can help your child explore all that it has to offer while also basking in some of the benefits yourself. From the opportunities it offers to build stronger bonds with your child to the brain development, language skills and emotional development that play encourages in your child, it’s no wonder that play seems to have a radical impact on everyone. Whether you’re young or old, stressed out or carefree, play can bring a bit of joy into everyone’s life. Do you have a favorite form of play you share with your child?
10 Reasons Playing with Your Kids is So Important