Most parents know how important it is for kids to spend time playing. However, did y’all know it’s also a good idea for you to play with them, too? Kids can learn a lot by playing with their parents—in fact, that’s often how they learn to entertain themselves. Check out these five benefits of playing together with your child.
1. Create Emotional Bonds
First of all, spending time with your kids is incredibly important because that’s how you bond with them. Y’all should find time to spend with your kids no matter what age they’re at, but playtime when kids are young is a special opportunity to build trust and empathy with each other. Plus, your kids will have a lot of fond memories to look back on.
2. Teach Collaboration
While the ability to entertain yourself is crucial in an age where people tend to let technology do the heavy lifting, playing with your kids teaches a different skill: collaboration. When I play with my kids, I’m teaching them how to work with someone else on a collective project. We build, design, and create things together.
3. Lower Your Stress
One of the many benefits of playing together with your child is that it actually lowers your stress. When y’all are spending time doing relaxing things with the people you love, you stop worrying about what’s bothering you. Think of it as your body rewarding you for being a good parent.
4. Help With Certain Therapies
If you have a child who utilizes some form of therapy, play can actually help increase the effectiveness of exercises. For example, one activity that can help your child with speech therapy is to play word association games. One of my favorites is the alphabet game, where you try to name things that start with the letters you see nearby. It’s a great opportunity to go on a walk with your kids and help with their development at the same time.
5. Teach Improvisation
What do y’all do when your child hands you a doll or action figure and asks you to play a character? When you play, you often need to think of things quickly, and that can be a helpful skill in the real world for both you and your child. Thinking on your feet can make you better at your job, and it could come in handy if your child asks an awkward question in public.
Playing with their children is something every parent knows to do, but we often forget why it’s important. Take the time to remind yourself why playing together is crucial next time you’re tempted to tell your children to go play by themselves.