Let’s play together! Rules for adults who want to play with (and like) their children!
If you think about childhood and children, the first thing that comes to mind is playtime. There is nothing little ones like more than to play: by themselves, with friends and, most of all, with mum and dad!
Playtime is, without a doubt, the existential dimension of every child, as well as their reality. For the littlest ones, playtime should not only be thought of as an activity which brings happiness, but rather as an activity which is also essential for their growth.
As an adult, the idyll and magic associated with playtime seems a little faded. Almost as if by growing, one forgets how to play.
Often, we as parents ask ourselves, as do grandparents, aunts and uncles, the same question: how are you supposed to play with children?
Most parents are convinced that playtime with children is simply, and truly, “child’s play”! In reality, playtime holds a certain complexity and requires that we respect a few fundamental rules.
Let’s try and make a small list with some tips to help us play with children in the best way possible, having fun while also trying to establish a bond with them. Mums, dads, aunts and uncles.... are you ready to be children again?
- Always try to create an environment which will facilitate playtime: choose a room or corner of the home to make the child feel relaxed and make playtime special and a moment which is all yours.
- Let children choose how and what they want to play with you: do not interfere but let them choose, on their own, which game they want to play. Do not impose a type of game, or way playing, on them.
- Place more emphasis on quality than quantity: do not play with your children only out of duty; rather, choose a moment when you are able to dedicate all your attention to them. They will notice and be much happier!
- Praise and encourage children while playing: even if you cannot make any sense of the game they want to play, always try to encourage children for their effort and the result achieved. Quality playtime is truly based on fantasy!
- Always be patient when playing: let their imagination guide them during those times dedicated to having fun. Do not be impatient for the end of playtime to arrive, but rather give your child all the time they need.
- While playing, try not to let your mind wander to the cleaning and organising: to develop, there must be freedom to act. Dear mums, organisation is not a part of playtime. Let your children move freely and save your thoughts about cleaning for later!
Playtime means developing important skills such as creative and social intelligence and dexterity, as well as motor skills. The more your children grow, the more they will guide playtime with you in the future.
A gentle reminder. There is no need to become full-time child entertainers but do remember to take advantage of all the possibilities daily life offers to play and have fun together with the little ones!