Families are happier and stronger when parents play with their children. According to my studies this week, play is the way that children learn. Therefore, children should be encouraged to play in ways that will help them to learn and develop. Children can learn through free play, but their learning can rise to a higher level through guided play.
In an article titled “10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play,” Laurel Bongiono listed ten important facts about play.
1. Children learn through their play.
2. Play is healthy.
3. Play reduces stress.
4. Play is more than meets the eye.
5. Make time for play.
6. Play and learning go hand-in-hand.
7. Play outside.
8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
9. Trust your own playful instincts.
10. Play is a child’s context for learning.
I had the opportunity to visit a toy store this week. It was a small store, but it was filled with lots of enticing toys. I was pleased to see that most of the toys required some type of manipulation by the child, such as blocks, puzzles, stacking toys, nesting toys, and vehicles. Musical instruments also fall into this category as do costumes.
Parents must understand that children need to play in order to develop properly. Parents should ensure that their children have lots of time to play and to sometimes play with their children. By playing with their children, parents can strengthen their family, which will strengthen their community and nation.