Discover your intellectual strengths
Too many parents consider play as simply a means of diverting and distracting their children. Playthings are often seen as a means of keeping children happy, rewarding them, keeping them out of mischief, and giving parents free time.
Not often enough do parents think of play and toys as fundamental aspects of a child's education, as a means through which children learn to understand the world around them, and as the primary method by which children acquire many basic skills.
Parents can help make their children's play stimulating by doing three things.
Planning a child's play does not mean planning each activity for every moment of the child's playtime. On the contrary, children should have maximum independence in choosing their own activities. And, within the limits of the daily routine of the home, a child should also choose the time for their activities, as well as the duration of each. Good planning makes sure that play is as varied and stimulating as possible.
A child should play at different times, with friends, with parents, and by their selves. This play should include, within a period of about a month, all or most of the following types of activities, each geared to the age level of the child.
Here are 5 of them:
Most play can be classified in one of these five groups, and, ideally, play should include all of these types. Also, as skills develop, the activities should move to a higher, more mature level.
However, a child does not automatically vary his play or develop in it. This is where the parent's planning comes in - continually making the child aware of the broad opportunities available to him in play; initiating certain activities during playtime; making suggestions when the child needs and wants them; buying toys that will, in themselves, lead to new pursuits; stimulating new interests and ideas in any of a variety of ways. The parent should not manage the child's play, but should try to nudge it in the right directions.