We’re all aware of how important it is to play with your children throughout their childhood. Playing together develops your child in many ways. Cognitive functions are developed and brain-building is very important during the early stages of their lives. The great news is that you as the parent develop, too!
Further than brain development, your child develops physically and forms complex emotional bonds with you. Skills are learned and their understanding of social cues is ingrained. A companionship between you and your child is formed that lasts for life through nurture and constant care for each other. What do these things mean for the relationship between you and your child and their development throughout their life?
Monkey see, monkey do
Children learn through watching others, especially adults. Their first actions before they form their own opinions and feelings around topics are imitation-based and tend to be interactions made that mirror what they saw from a parent, a friend, or even a character on a TV show.
Because children sponge up any and all information around them for many years while they are young, it is important to make sure the environment they are exposed to as kids is safe, loving, respectful, and mimics values and morals that will ensure they go into adolescent life as well-rounded individuals that are strong and independent. This is why interactions with your children, even while they are still in their mommy’s tummy, are important so that they understand you are someone they can trust and learn from whenever they are curious or unsure.
Communication is key! There’s a reason why babies make noises and try to mimic words you say to them as soon as they are able to – it’s human nature to want to communicate, understand, and be understood. Children become frustrated when they can’t communicate what they want and need to their parents and friends.
By playing together, children learn to associate words with actions in a fun way that will make them remember concepts more easily. When a child sings along to a song on a children’s show, they seem to know the words almost instantly and you’ll hear ‘baby shark’ being sung for weeks after. Children’s minds grasp fun concepts that they learned through interaction faster than any other method of learning. Experience is what builds little brains.
You can teach an old dog new tricks
Just as your children are constantly learning and developing through play with you, you learn and develop through play with them! Playing together outside and running around is a form of exercise for both you and your child.
Thinking games gets both your brains working. Singing songs uses the whole brain and is good practice to sharpen up on those high notes! And it’s not only your physical body that benefits. Oxytocin levels are boosted when you have fun with your kids and everyone becomes happier and healthier in the process, and the bond between parent and child becomes unbreakable.
How can I play with my children?
There are many different forms of play. Pretend games involve imagination and roleplay, which is important to develop kids’ social skills. Funny conversations and jokes get everyone laughing. Physical games like rugby, climbing trees, dancing, and general outside activity is great for fresh air and a workout. However, try to limit games played on phones, tablets, and other screens. They may be a way to keep the kids occupied, but there aren’t many benefits outside of just a temporary boredom fix.
If you’re looking for a one-stop location with a range of activities, from wall-climbing to maze-navigating, the ball pit and our 5D cinema, Playalot is the place to be. Experience fun reimagined as an entire family and rediscover what it means to play!