As a parent I understand the importance of playtime for kids. One thing I haven’t focused on daily is encouraging specific types of play. It hasn’t been much of an issue in our household, because my kids love to do a variety of things and don’t get set on one thing for too long. Well, that might be true about all things except for the game of Minecraft. Once my kids get started with that, it’s likely to go on until the end of time. It’s a great game that encourages thinking and I love that, but I will still put it to an end. Change is good, right?
I have three questions for you:
- What would your kids say to you about getting more variety in their playtime?
- Do your children already get a balanced diet of play, or do you have to encourage them to try new play ideas?
- How do you help your kids balance online and offline play?
Check out this Dear Parents video, from a kid’s perspective encouraging parents to help their kids get a variety of play in their day so that they can get all the physical, social, emotional, communicative, creative, and cognitive benefits of play.
Whether or not your kids have gotten enough variety in their playtime up until now is water under the bridge. From this moment on you can have a fresh start by giving them all the playtime experiences they love and want. All you need to do is mix it up. Kids should be creating, jumping, running, pretending, thinking, and most of all learning.
5 Ways to Mix up the Way Kids Play
- Create a calendar and designate a specific activity during playtime each day. Use this as an opportunity to switch up the options.
- Use an empty jar and fill it with activity cards. Have the kids pick a card to choose activities at random.
- Set a timer and limit how long you allow your children to engage in each playtime activity.
- Encourage and support your children to have playdates with friends. Provide different types of games and playtime activities for the children to do.
- Choose play ideas for your kids to do that are different then what they choose to do on their own. If they aren’t interested in other activities, engage in the activity with them to get them started.
Wondering what kinds of activities kids like doing? Just ask them. Or click here to view cool a list of 100 Ways to Play I found while searching the internet for ideas.
This afternoon my girls are enjoying creating scooter choreography. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store.
When in doubt, rely on expert advice to help you navigate all the ways to encourage and guide your children to have healthy playtimes that are educational and also fun. Check out The Genius of Play for more information on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.