Thursday, June 20, 2013
How do you play with your child? Do you dangle a toy in front of their face? Do you grab their dolls and say "Hello suzie how are you today?". Do you push the race cars around the circular track? It is wonderful that you are doing all of this. In fact it is wonderful that you are even playing with your child as most children want nothing more then their parents' undivided attention. Giving your child as much attention as you can spare is nothing short of remarkable. Did you know that there are other ways to play with your child? Did you realize that some ways are actually better then others?
I know this sounds crazy and it was when I first heard about it as well, but there is a new movement in parenting and it goes along the "natural parenting" style which is what I mostly parent by but I do not like to label myself as I think the best parents do not have a style but are their own unique combination of a few that makes them work. However, this concept actually made sense to me. After all when was the last time I actually "played" with toys? Sure I put Xavier's cars on the racetrack that goes round and round and I show him how to use it. What I should be doing is showing him how to "play" with it. Playtime for children especially young babies and toddlers is taken very seriously for them. They are learning. They learn all sorts of things through play, how things work, different colors, and textures and shapes.
One of the best things to do with your child when you play with them is imaginary play. Even though this concept is a little over the heads of babies and toddlers. Once you master showing them how a toy works, such as the racetrack, you then need to show them how to have fun playing with it. Show your child all the different things that also can go on the racetrack. Show them different ways of setting up the racetrack even if it is not perfect. Show them how their little people can walk on the racetrack.
Teach them that there are many different ways of not only "playing" with their toys but of imagining everything they see. Teach them to see the many possibilities of everything. Teach them to think outside of the box instead of always in the box. That is how you get smart children. You show them that not everything is only as it seems. Everything and everybody is always many different things. When you are imagining with your child you are teaching them to imagine all the possibilities the world has to offer.