Have you considered the benefits of play to you and your family?
Like the food we eat, we need a diet that includes play, an essential ingredient for a healthy family life and child development. This is a guide to how busy families can make time to play together and reap the benefits without fuss and great expense. In our busy, ever more structured lives, time is increasingly short. Everyone’s routines start earlier; children participate in organised activities such as swimming or music lessons and just have less time to be kids! Less time to play means they are missing out as a result. Playing together is a vital element of sharing family life. It can involve everyone; be lively or quiet, planned or spontaneous. Above all it benefits all those involved - parents, grandparents and children of all ages.
Play – What good does it do?Play is good for all senses and age groups. It combines a whole host of mental and physical benefits to individuals and families alike. Apart from just being enjoyable, it is:
- Great for family bonding
Psychologists have identified numerous ways that play helps childhood development. It enhances:
- Thinking power
- Mental fitness
- Practical knowledge
- Personal & emotional well-being
- Physical development
- Social skills
As a child we bet you didn’t realise how much good you were doing yourself just by playing!
Make Time to Play – Fun & Play with Toys
The most important message of this section is to encourage you to make time to play. Parents and grandparents should remember that 3 factors assist kids get the most from play:
Create a safe, secure environment for play.
Let kids be free to direct their own play.
A wide variety of toys permits many types of play (rather than a few expensive toys).
As a parent you can provide ideas and time to play, join in games already underway and show how much fun play can be. Use toys as props how and when you want to.
"Children learn through play and making it fun means they'll have lots of practice developing skills. Whether you buy or borrow toys from your local toy library, they form an integral part in learning and a great way for families to spend time together".
~Jo Silver - President Toy Libraries Victoria
“Children are more inclined to play, and will play longer, when toys are available. A well-selected range of toys will encourage children to explore the world around them in different ways, stimulating development of all the senses”
~Professor Jeffrey H. Goldstein - University of Utrecht, Netherlands