The Incredible years – How to play with your child
Written by Lolita Kamayou
Play is important for the development of children, it allows parents and children to develop a strong relationship at home and outside, engaging with each other. Play is a learning tool for children and parents. It is an opportunity for children to learn who they are, what they can do, and how to relate to the world around them. Through play, children discover and explore, use their imagination, solve problems, and test out new ideas. As they go through these experiences they gradually learn to gain control over their environment and become more competent and self-confident in their world. Children communicate their thoughts, satisfaction, problems, and feelings, it gives them the liberty to fail and make mistakes whilst allowing parents to encourage and praise the child for the effort. Through play, a parent can learn a lot about the child’s feelings of joy, hope, anger, and fear, by watching, listening, and talking with the child. Children need to play in a supportive environment where they can be creative and explore different ways of communication. Children live in a world where they are not presented with opportunities to make many decisions concerning their future; child-led play can develop the child’s ability to make decisions for themselves in the future, building their self-confidence, increasing their sense of trust, and facilitating their communication skills with their peers.