We all know how children love to play. Most of the time, you’ll hear experts say how crucial and vital play is for your child’s development. Little did we know that not all kinds of play are the same. At times for practicality purposes, we let our kids gravitate towards watching videos or play electronic games and steer clear of creative and imaginative play, since this is the easiest way to keep them still. Lest, we forget the consequence of not interacting and engaging with the child.
As parents, what is our role in relation to play?
Research shows that playtime with parents is important. Children love to get attention and time from their parents. It makes them feel special. A parent who regularly plays with her child is able to build a stronger relationship with each other. Here are some more points on why parents are encouraged to play regularly with their child:
- It is a way for the parent to understand and get to know the child better.
- It is an avenue for better communication.
- It can be used to deal with negative behaviors exhibited by the child.
- It teaches parents patience and understanding.
- It gives the opportunity for the parent to learn how to play again.
- It is fun!
Playing with children may seem daunting at first but it gets better with practice. The first step is looking for the right kind of tools to play with. One of my favorites that I have year round inside my classroom and which I usually recommend to parents, is a set of blocks.
The new Crayola Kids at Work 80pc Giant Blocks comes in an assortment of colors, made with very durable plastic and has a great clutch factor. That means that the blocks stay together but can be easily pulled apart by the little ones. The fun part for this set of blocks (okay maybe for a neat freak and a Crayola addict like me) is that it comes in a humongous-sized crayon that serves as storage.
But looking at it in-depth and from a teacher’s point of view, playing with blocks gets the creative juices flowing and if there is more than one player then cooperation is at work too. Not to mention, enhancing your child’s grip and fine motor skills while building their self-confidence and problem solving skills. You see, block play has no grades, no performance standards, no judges. It is just you, your fingers and your imagination. So there is no right and wrong way in the world of building blocks.
Another reason (besides plain fun) why I recommend block play to parents is because of its educational benefits. Research says that 1-to 2- year olds who played blocks with their parents for just 20 minutes a day scored 15 percent higher on language development tests and were 80 percent less likely to watch television. Dimitri Christakis, M.D. a pediatrician from Seattle Children’s Hospital, recommends block play as early as 6 months but you can rock the blocks at any age.
So parents here are a few tips on how to make the most of this toy:
- Sort blocks by color and size.
- Build tunnels for toy cars and trains to travel through
- Construct houses and barns for dolls and animals
- Line up blocks and pretend they are piano keys; use spoons to ‘play’ them
- Make the tallest tower and knock it down
Just remember to be careful not to take over or exercise too much control over play. Try not to continually intervene or intrude and wait for the child to draw you in. And lastly, don’t forget to enjoy and get them to laugh. Have fun!
Buy these great Crayola Blocks and EMCO Mighty Brix here: http://www.oga-lala.com/building-blocks-construction/
Want to win an Ogalala loot bag worth P3,500? Here’s how:
- Post a photo on Facebook or Instagram showing how you are using any of our products* in learning through play.
- Tag @ogalalaworld on Facebook and/or Instagram. Make sure your post is set to Public so we can see it!
- Use the following hashtags in your post: #OgalalaWorld, #OgalalaSystemInPlay
One (1) entry will be picked randomly on August 31, so the more posts, the higher chances of winning! The winner will be announced by 1st week of September and will be notified via PM.
*Pigeon, Safety 1st, Ergobaby, Babymoov, Oops, Melissa & Doug, My First Crayola, The Learning Journey, Tiny Love, Brainy Baby
Make sure to watch my video below:
Got questions for Teacher Raissa about child development and milestones? Leave a comment below or send us a message at ogalalaexpert [at] oga-lala.com.
Teacher Raissa is a teacher by day and Crayola addict 24/7! She absolutely adores children and has been working (and playing!) with them for the last 9 years. She teaches math, is a homeroom adviser to adorable Preschoolers, and believes in learning through play.