Did you know that adults can play a significant role in children’s play situations? It can be more in depth than just catching a child at the bottom of the slide. You can help a child realize how valuable play is when you get involved.
Here are some general guidelines that can help out:
• Let your child know you value play. Talk with them about play. We often say things such as “I like the way you’re working,” but how often do we say “I like the way you’re playing?”
• Spend as much time playing with your children during their early years as you can. If you do this from a young age and make an effort to play with children, they get the message that it should be an important part of their lives.
• Think of ways to create playful environments. You can provide children with materials that help them explore and adapt in play.
• Move play along.
When it seems to have lost its productivity, think of new ways to provide a new play experience such as a field trip.
• Make sure the play experience is safe. Help avoid social conflicts by offering ways for children to solve them with negotiation. Always check equipment for safety issues and help make children aware of any hidden risks in their play situation.