Playtime is special; it’s not only fun but is also critical to your child’s development. Incorporating kids play routinely in your baby’s first years of growth is important as it increases parent-baby bonding, sets endless opportunities for social development, and boosts brain development. Playtime is not only beneficial to kids but to mum and dad as well. It’s the best way to release stress levels all while creating memorable family moments. While most mums concentrate on instructive and verbal play, dads should be involved in playing with their children and maybe do so through some physical play.
Almost any activity seems playful to toddlers, it could be as simple as making funny faces to more developed activities like solving puzzles. Having a play routine implies repetition, which can help kids learn a new skill. Toddlers enjoy predictable activities as it gives them a sense of security and control, not to mention, it gives your child an opportunity to get excited about what’s ahead. So, how can parents create better play routine?
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Make park play dates
Kids find their own little space to play in the parks, which gives them the opportunity to come up with play ideas. There’s also the possibility you’ll find other kids in the park. If so, encourage them to socialize with other kids and soon enough they’ll be making friends and coming up with new play ideas together. This is fun and it improves their social skills.
It’s important for a developing child to establish relationships with peers. Look for opportunities for your young ones to play with other children, for instance, arranging for play dates. On top of being fun, it helps your child learn social skills such as sharing, empathy, and conflict resolution. It’s also the best way to prepare toddlers for the school setting. Inviting a friend may be just the motivation your child needs to play outdoors, and might help save you some energy too!
Create a safe play environment
A safe environment is crucial to creating a better play routine. When coming up with play routines, keep in mind what environmental factors affect your child’s playtime. Choose activities and places that are quieter, have more natural lighting and are less stimulating, to keep your child from getting distressed during playtime.
Scale Back on Kids’ Activities
Most of us want our kids to have the best experiences and advantages, so, we end up signing them up for complex activities such as Tai Chi, soccer, piano classes, swim lessons, art lessons, and much more. Even though you want them to have as many opportunities in life as possible, take time to look at how much time these commitments take. Consider activities that you can trade in for some family time. Don’t force your babies to grow up so fast, soon they’ll be all grown up and you’ll miss all the cuddling and snuggling you enjoyed when they were toddlers.
Add some music and movement
Toddlers are huge fans of music, especially if it’s part of a routine. Music and movement help your child’s body and mind to work at the same time. Through music, kids are able to express themselves and practice pronouncing words as well as putting sentences together. Incorporate some upbeat music during the day and lullabies at bedtime. This is a fun way to bond, reduce stress for you and the kids, plus lullabies help them sleep better.
Explore the outdoors
Your backyard offers the perfect place for outdoor activities such as building activities, art activities, water activities, games, singing, dancing, outdoor parties, playing with toys, summer reading, solving puzzles, crafts with kids, and so on. You can build some of the best children’s playhouses in the backyard and enjoy outdoor activities inside. A playhouse offers your child the chance to stimulate real-life play and learn how to be responsible. However, when creating play routine this summer, think beyond your backyard. Depending on where you live, you can play in a nearby open field or visit a farm, a river, nature reserve, the beach, and even explore Mother Nature through bird-watching, hiking in the nearby wooded trails, and gardening.
Creating play routine for your child shouldn’t just be for their benefit but yours too. By serving as a constant companion to your child, you are able to create a lasting relationship that will go on even in their teenage years and their adult life. You are also able to develop solid observational skills that will help you detect any potential problems on time like the need for language therapy. Therefore, reap the benefits yourself.
Go out and enjoy yourselves!