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The Benefits Of Play Time For Children

1288 words - 5 pages

The best way for parents to teach their child is to play with them. Because indoor and outdoor play is a child's opportunity to explore his new world, it is very important for his growth. In order to help their children develop cognitive, social, and psychological skills, parents should actively participate in their child's playtime.
The first step for parents to take is to give the child enough room to play. Enough play space will give way to paths, ramps, bridges, hills, etc (Strickland par. 3). Because the child will have extra room to move, his body will engage in actions, which is important for him to learn how his mind cooperates with his body. Provide tools like plastic shovels, sand buckets, or blocks of wood to encourage him to build anything he wants. Such things as sand, water, blocks, and boxes for construction are moveable. Since they are moveable, they are also changeable; he can calculate in his head what needs to go where (Strickland par. 1). The balancing, lifting, and carrying will help develop his cognitive skills because he will be using his mind to complete his project just the way he imagines it (Strickland par. 2). The movements and strategies that are accompanied by outdoor projects will enhance his motor coordination, and hone his timing skills (Muller par. 38). Dr. Katheleen Alfano, director research at Fisher Price, states that “a great deal of research has been conducted recently into the link between play and movement, and intellectual development” (Muller par. 37). Of course, the parents' role in this activity is to monitor their child's play, but to not hover or intervene. The parents may feel urged to correct the child's method of construction, but it is vital for the child to produce his own work of art (Hausmann par. 5). The act of merely being present means a great deal to the child and affects the overall development of his cognitive skills.

It does not take much effort to really be involved in the child's play. Making sure that the child has consistent play and social interaction is very important for his development. Toys will most likely provide the most consistent play, since he can not be around friends at all times. First of all, how to use the toy is the child's decision (Bettelheim 337). The child needs the parents there to actively participate, but not to change the child's method of playing. There are certain types of toys and games that are appropriate to age (Muller par. 3). For instance, a child from eighteen months to two years old is at a stage where he tends to copy adults. Hosting a tea party, or pushing a small bus filled with plastic people makes the child feel as if he is fulfilling positions like his parents (Muller par. 11). A child between two and three years old will thrive in open-ended play. Doll houses and miniature farm yards would be considered tools to play with an open mind (Muller par. 14). Gaining experience and confidence through...

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