It’s exactly what it sounds like – Play Parenting is parenting your child through play. For example, if you wanted to get your child to get a chore done, instead of yelling or bullying them into doing it, you would use play. You would set a countdown and get your child excited to play the game and get the task done.
With play, you can make learning for your child fun and everyday tasks such as cleaning up the room or getting ready to go to school easy and quicker, not painful. If you have a healthy, playful relationship with your child, it can do wonders for all involved.
You may assume playing with children could bore some parents. However, your child needs you to be more than an audience. Sometimes your child needs you to be a playmate. Playing hide and seek or make believe games with dollhouses are great ways to play with your child.
The play is important for children. For eg., in Denmark, the play is taken so seriously that they have schools where children go to just for play! For the Denmark residents, scheduling children’s routines and keeping them busy with classes or only school work is quite unheard of.
If you think about it, generations before us had multiple children in one household; children had each other for company and played together. Besides, children were free to roam and play outside. With the shrinking of families, and space for children parents have to step up to fill the void created. So, parents playing with children is, relatively, a new age concept. Times have changed, and the good news is children are spending more with parents now. Apart from playmates, these days parents have taken over duties of being teacher and coaches too.
Whether it is turning terrible twos into terrific twos or star gazing with your toddler, we, at Candy Cane Club are here to help you figure out play parenting. Remember the main reason to play is that it’s fun!
So, how can playing with your child help?
A simple way of incorporating play in parenting is through songs. From brushing teeth song to put on your shoe song, there can be a song for any task. Children are naturally drawn to music. Singing an easy-to-remember rhyme song, gets young children singing in tune too.
If you walk to school or to buy groceries often, walking with your young child sometimes can be challenging. If they are bored, they can run over the sidewalk. How can you peacefully deal with this, instead of freaking out or stressing? You can redirect your child’s curiosity with a game of red light stop, green light go. This way, you are not only connected with each other, but the time you spend playing is a great time to revise the colours and get some laughs too.
Say, your child loves playing with building blocks but throwing the blocks helter-skelter is not your kind of play. You want the area to be neat, and so, instead of being angry about the mess, you can turn it into a game of who picks up the fastest or colour codes the blocks the best. Scolding and nagging take up a lot more energy and is stressful too. Therefore, play parenting is a fun way to get things done and explore learning opportunities for your child too.
How to get started?
If you are a working parent, experts suggest you spend at least 20 minutes with your child right after you return from work and just before you start your normal routine after work. Set a timer and during this time; make a vow to yourself that you won’t be distracted with your smartphone. If you do, reset the timer again and go back to whatever game you were playing with your child.
If weekdays are so busy that your child is already in bed when you come home, then you can go on a play date with your child over the holidays. Enjoy new experiences and adventures such as Treasure Hunts or sign up for events during the weekend to make the most of the learning experiences for your child.
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