Take a few minutes out and have some fun with your child
Sarah has these tips for parents on ways to play with their children.
- Create a play space in your home.
- Provide open-ended play materials and toys that encourage imaginary and active play that can be played with in more than one way -- for example old telephones or mobile phones, cooking utensils and saucepans, old clothes and hats, dolls, writing materials and old cardboard boxes, building blocks, etc.
- Make time to engage in child-led imaginary and make-believe free play.
- Follow your child's lead and let him/her develop the play themes.
- Try to avoid asking questions and directing the play activity.
- Show your child that he/she has your undivided attention by providing a play commentary of their activity.
- Positive parent-and-child play experiences can help develop strong emotional bonds and are an opportunity to engage fully with your child.
- Playing with your child is an opportunity to see the world through your child's eyes and creates a bank of positive feelings and experiences to draw upon in more difficult times.
- Set limits for unsafe and unacceptable behaviour.
- Have fun -- playfulness and humour are associated with good mental health.
- Playing with your child can be stress relief for busy parents!