All children, regardless of age or ability, need time to play every day. Parents and caregivers should provide opportunities for play in a safe and age-appropriate environment.
Children are interested in learning about the world around them. They can explore their world through play, practice new skills, and expand their imagination. Playing with your child is not only fun, but it’s one of the most important ways you can help nurture your child’s development.
To maximize the benefits of play, keep these things in mind:
Safety first: Make sure toys don’t have small parts that fit into your child’s mouth that could be a choking hazard.
Follow their lead: Watch your child and see what kind of activities interest them and do what they want. Let your child determine how and what to play.
Play with your child: You are their favorite toy! Get down on their level and let them crawl on you, or play blocks, do a puzzle or sing and dance.Repeat and Repeat again: Children love to do things with repetition. They may want to play with the same toy or activity again and again, and it’s beneficial because some children like the sense of knowing what to expect. It provides them a sense of security and control.
Songs and Rhymes: Children enjoy songs – especially those with hand motions. Words are easier to learn when they rhyme or are put to music. Encourage your child to sing with you.
Hands-On Learning: Using hands and fingers to push buttons or open boxes helps children learn about how the world works. Many children also like to paint with their fingers, use play dough and play with sand.
Involve friends: Having fun with peers is an important way for children to learn social skills like sharing, taking turns, and resolving conflicts. Invite friends to your home or meet at a park.
ChildStrive (formerly known as Little Red School House) has been partnering with Tulalip families for more than 30 years. For more information about your child’s childhood development contact Courtney Miller at ChildStrive at (425) 353-5656 x7145 or Courtney.Miller@ChildStrive.org. More information about ChildStrive can be found on our website at www.ChildStrive.org