Monday, July 13, 2009

Playtime: More Than Just Fun and Games


We all know kids love to play games. Whether it's a board game, riding bikes, or hide and seek, your child probably seems like no work and all play. But what many adults don't realize, is that children aren't only goofing off and having a good time. Imaginative play encourages creativity, mathematical skills, and it helps kids work out everyday problems just like grown ups do.

When you see your daughter playing with dolls, she's learning about human interaction and caring for others. Games like hopscotch encourage counting skills and taking turns. All of these are very important concepts to know in order to thrive as an adult.

Help encourage your child's exploration and pretend play by knowing what to look for in a toy.

A good toy doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Flashing lights and singing puppies may seem entertaining, but simpler toys like blocks and climbing playground toys can be much more beneficial. When children play with more simply designed items, they use their imaginations more out of necessity and end up actually have MORE fun than with flashier items. A climbing toy isn't just a toy: it's a mountain top, a flying trapeze, and the surface of the moon all in one!

Choose toys that are age appropriate. A toy that is beyond your child's level will not very enjoyable, and even worse, it might be dangerous. Manufacturers usually list age ranges on the packaging. Better yet, choose toys that can grow with your child.

Pick toys that encourage thought provoking play as well as fun. Blocks, shoe tying games, puzzles, and memory games are all entertaining, promote healthy competition for multiple kids to participate in, and they never get outdated.

No comments: