Ten Things Every Parent Should Know About Play
Date posted: January 11, 2016
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has outlined ten things that parents should know about play. They are:
- Children learn through their play.
- Play is healthy.
- Play reduces stress.
- Play is more than meets the eye.
- Make time for play.
- Play and learning go hand-in-hand.
- Play outside.
- There’s a lot to learn about play.
- Trust your own playful instincts.
- Play is a child’s context for learning.
For more details about these, read the NAEYC article.
What can parents do to support play? Here are some tips from Michigan State University Extension:
Hold on to your expectations. Instead of worrying about how you think your child should be playing or what you expect them to do with a certain toy or in a specific situation, let your child decide. When children have control of a situation, they learn to listen to their own cues and promptings, making learning developmentally appropriate for them, and also fun and engaging.
Support and guide. Just like parents support a child learning to walk by providing a steady hand when needed, being present and engaged in your child’s play gives you the opportunity to support them when they need it. Your child might need help learning a new skill or emotional support exploring a new environment, or they may need new ideas and inspiration from their favorite adult. As your child grows and develops, your support can help them reach new heights.
For ideas on play activities that support learning, take a look at this year’s Family Literacy Week Let’s Play Together! activity sheets.