As an educator, I am always reading, researching and learning. I try to read books that bring value to my teaching craft and to my parenting style. This brings me to my latest reflection. How many of you are sitting on a couch trying to relax and just when you think you have a moments of silent. BOOM! something happens. If I had a dollar for everytime my son is slamming into me when I am trying to have a moment of relaxation, I could retire already…ha!
Kids love to play! They love to explore and get dirty. They love to pretend and rumble and tumble. My son loves to wrestle and ram into things. He pretends to have horns and bumps me with his head. He laughs so hard and as much as I want him to stop, I start laughing with him and he bumps me even more. Parents, our kids need to play! Whether they are 2 years old or 12 years old, kids need play! It looks differently for each child.
Did you know play is not only helps create a fantasy world, but also helps with emotional regulation?
Here are a few different types of play:
Fantasy Play- exactly what it sounds like, kids are creating their own world, it might include talking animals or house play such as mommy and daddy. Did you know this type of play helps with higher thinking order in children? My son loves creating scenes in his head that are related to legos or Harry Potter. He loves putting on his Slytherin robe and running around the house casting spells on everyone.
Constructive Play- Children use materials to create something and it’s organized, systems are in place. During this type of play helps kids learn to problem solve, connecting with other kids, and having a deeper understanding of things. My son loves getting boxes and creating cars and televisions. He enjoys using the glue gun and making armor for his battles.
Games with rules play- Playing games with rules helps children learn about order, structure, turn taking, and learning to lose. That is definitely a hard one, but an important one. We play daily board and card games. My son loves chess because he beats me every time. He is learning patience, turn taking, and negotiating when he plays with me.
Rough and Tumble Play- This is the hardest play to understand. Even I have a hard time with it. Every time I see my son playing super heroes or cops and robbers, I cringe! I have gone as far as stopping him knowing that he is enjoying using his body in different ways. When kids play “roughly” they develop their social and physical skills. They also learn social cues such as when someone gets hurt, they will have empathy and adjust their play. My son wrestles daily and I am learning to enjoy it.
So the next time you see your child in play, don’t stop them, don’t ask them what they are doing, just watch them. You will learn so much!
This book is a great resource in reminding me about the importance of play. https://www.amazon.com/Purposeful-Play-Teachers-Igniting-Learning/dp/0325077886/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3QW3BZZGFZL4B&keywords=purposeful+play&qid=1675221382&sprefix=purposeful+play%2Caps%2C142&sr=8-1