Have you ever wondered where your little one gets certain sayings from or how they react when something doesn’t go their way or how they walk or act? Well a lot of it comes from – YOU! You are the most important teacher in your child’s life (no pressure eh!) and part of your job is to know about Play and how you can use it to assist your child’s learning.

If your anything like me you wake up in the morning and look at the kitchen and think ‘Here I go again’… Wash the dishes from yesterday evening because you were too tired to do them last night, dirty dishes again after breakfast whilst trying to dress 3 little humans and one large one, tidy away pyjamas, take the girls to school before 9 am.

Home again to make the beds, set the fire, get to the shop and try manage a walk in there somewhere as my tummy is starting to get a little wobbly!! Then whilst drinking your well-deserved (cold) cup of coffee you read a blog on playing with your child. I hear you saying … ‘Play with your Child?’ Sure I let them play while I’m doing the dishes and making the dinner. I’m in the same room so surely that counts!

Playing with your child is more than setting up an activity for your child to play with while you get ‘stuff done’. The dishes will wait, the mess can wait, and slow cookers are great for dinners!! The only thing that won’t wait is – Time and the speed at which your beautiful little one is growing up.

Your child can learn so much from playing with you. Not alone are you building their confidence, you are building your relationship with your child and this is the stuff they will remember for years to come.

In our latest Play Booklet we explore 4 types of Play:

  1. Instructional – (Adult gives the directions to the child)
  2. Observational – (Adult demonstrates to child how to build blocks for example)
  3. Interactive – (You and your child work together playing the same activity)
  4. Self-Directed Play – (Your child has the more independent role in the game and you do as you are told).

So let’s look at 10 ways on how we can get started:

  1. Colouring in – adults can thrive from this also as its relaxing and can destress you. Great for a child’s co-ordination and imagination.
  2. Play with baby dolls for boys and girls– wash, feed, dress, put baby to bed.
  3. Open a shop – this is great to teach the child how to deal with money, how to act when in the supermarket with you and what role the shop keeper has.
  4. Puzzles – great quiet activity to do to work on co-ordination and thinking skills.
  5. Building blocks! This can occupy your child for hours and you will find you will enjoy also.
  6. Go on a nature walk – listen to the birds, crunch through the leaves / grass / snow. See what new flowers are starting to grow. Look out for aeroplanes.
  7. Turn an old cardboard box into a bus / aeroplane / house / den! Let you child decorate this to his or her own design.
  8. Read a book! Nothing nicer than curling up on the sofa and reading a book with your child. This can be done from 6 months plus! The earlier the better.
  9. Have a tea party!!
  10. Pretend / child-led games – let your child select the game and you do as your told for a change.

The list can go on and on but I thought these lovely play ideas would get you started. So go on … let you hair down. Have a laugh. You only have one watcher – your child, and they will love to see mummy or daddy taking time out of their busy life to play with them!! Also remember that different ages of children means different types of play – they could be an onlooker or play parallel depending on their age.

Have fun and thank you for reading our latest blog. Why don’t you find your nearest SOOC group, sign up and enjoy the experience. It is held over 4 days and the last day is a Play Day. This way you can experience and view other parents playing with their children if you’re stuck for ideas. Please be sure to share and like.

Watch your child thrive and become a mini you!