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6 min read

Playing with my child

  • Play can look like lots of things and doesn’t always involve toys. Play comes from within a child, sometimes they want grown-ups to join-in. It’ll vary from culture to culture as play prepares children to be a part of a culture.

    There are different sorts of play:

    • Physical play which releases energy – like jumping, running, dancing, or climbing
    • Expressive play - when a child uses art, music, or toys to show feelings
    • Experimental play - when your child does things to see what happens. Like playing with puzzles, building, or doing crafts
    • Pretend play - that allows children to express themselves and solve problems
    • Organised play - for instance football, board games, card games or computer games.
    • Children can also enjoy watching play. Many find it soothing and comforting to play the same game, play with the same toy, or have the same story read often.
    • Play helps children communicate what’s going on for them inside. It helps them gain control of their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
    • Through play, children learn how to think and solve problems. Play helps them to make friends, be patient and sort out difficulties.
    • Play helps children work out how to be a part of their community or culture.
    • It can also help develop their physical strength and thinking skills.
    • Play develops skills that help make children healthy and happy. It helps turn them into strong adults.
    • When you play with your child, it shows them you enjoy being with them. It also shows them that they’re important to you and that they’re valuable as people.
    • Playing gives your child positive attention. It should mean they don’t need to find ways of getting your attention by behaving in a way you don’t want. And we all know what that looks like!

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