While children do need time to play alone and with other children without adult intervention, research shows that playtime with parents is also important.
Children crave time with parents. It makes them feel special. Parents are encouraged to find time to spend playing with their kids on a regular basis. This should include one to one with each child and group time with all of the adults and kids in the home. If you are a single parent or have an only child, occasionally invite family or friends over to play.
In pretend play, let the child develop the theme. Get into their world. Let them go with it. Ask questions. Play along. Be silly along with them and have fun. Avoid over-stimulation. Know when it is time to stop.
Also, when appropriate, parents can use stuffed animals or puppets to act out real-life situations that can teach problem solving or social skills. Let the puppet demonstrate the wrong way to handle a situation. Then, along with input from the child, act out a better way. Afterward, let the child do the same.
Help kids when they show the need it or ask for it. Use it as a time to teach:
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