Play. It’s one of the most natural things for a child to want to do. This is because it is arguably the most instinctive (and fun) way for them to learn about themselves and the world. By fostering their curiosity, play suspends reality and opens up new possibilities for creativity and connection. So how can play be used to help children build connections with others and the world around them?
Play provides parents with an invitation to enter their child’s world. Taking time to be actively involved in playtime creates opportunities for deeper connection as you gain glimpses into how your child interacts with their environment.
As parents, we know it's incredibly hard to find time but it's important to set some regular time in the day or week to connect through play, even if it's just for 10-15 minutes.
Tips for encouraging parent-child connection through play
Play is often the foundation of many childhood friendships. The more your child plays with other children, the more your child will learn to play well.
For little ones, playing with others is the beginning of socialisation. Through play, they learn to share their emotions, they learn how to coordinate and collaborate and they learn how to create positive relationships with others from a young age.
Tips for encouraging connections between children through play
Through play, children build strong connections to nature and their environment. Spending time outdoors gives children the freedom and space they need to unleash their creativity and let their imagination run wild. And in doing so, they also develop a distinct awareness of natural spaces and how to care for them.
Building connections to nature can be important for instilling healthy habits in later life by promoting a more active lifestyle. Playing in nature also offers great opportunities to develop their hand-eye coordination and motor skills as well as their skills of observation and investigation. As such, building a positive relationship with nature from a young age can have a significantly positive impact on their wellbeing and development.
Tips on how to encourage connections to nature
We hope all these tips help your child build connections through play! If you think we missed anything, drop a comment below.
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Jellystone Designs is now supplying Toy Libraries Australia, a non-for profit organisation and peak body for over 260 toy libraries in Australia.