The Benefits Of Family Games And Play
First things first, play is universal across all societies! And there's a good reason for this. Family games and play have a range of benefits for toddlers and pre-schoolers - but also for adults and parents too.
Play is central to a child’s learning and development - so providing opportunities for different kinds of play (away from screens!) is important. As we all know, play can come in different forms: creative, imaginative, structured and unstructured, but encouraging your child to experiment with toys and games has been proven to:
- build their confidence and help them to deal with different emotions.
- help them feel loved, happy and safe when playing with family and friends.
- help them develop social skills, language and communication, helping them to work out and learn to negotiate and deal with group dynamics.
- teach them how to care for others and the environment.
- develop their physical skills, co-ordination and balance.
- develop cognitive ability by giving them chance to think, reason, problem solve, remember and pay attention.
As parents, we might sometimes ask our kids to entertain themselves while we work on other tasks. While learning to play independently is of course important too, children love playing with others, especially their parents. They crave time with their parents and since play comes more naturally to us, this gives us as adults and parents, the opportunity to get to know our children better and teach new skills in authentic, fun, learning experiences. When parents make a point to play with their kids on their level, everyone benefits. Playing together builds trust, forges bonds and creates meaningful shared experiences. And really, what can be more rewarding than that?