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Play is the first thing a baby learns and it is the key to developing skills. Yet until recently, I personally didn’t know why it is important to play with my child on a daily basis. Last month, I joined the #7daysofplaychallenge on Instagram by a certified Parent Educator, Dr. Jazmine McCoy. The challenge was to play with your child for 7 consecutive days for 5-10 minutes/day. It helped me realize the importance of one-on-one child-parent play.
Why is it important to play with my child 1:1?
“Play helps children develop all sorts of skills,” Dr. Darcia F. Narvaez said in a Psychology Today article. Moreover, parent-child play is a great way to enhance the child-parent bond and develop skills such as motor skills, problem-solving skills, etc. It also boosts the children’s self-esteem and makes them feel significant. Dr. Jazmine linked play to fewer tantrums, adding that playing 1:1 with your child positively affects the behavior.
How should I play with my child?
Sit at the same level as your child whether he/she likes to sit on the floor or in a corner to play. You can play with blocks or bricks, paint together, sing, dance, pretend-play, or even go out for a run. You’re good as long as you’re both happy.
What is the most important thing to do during playtime?
Just Play. Be present. Put down your phone, turn off the TV and focus only on playing with your child.
What age is play most important for?
Starting from 6 months to 10 years old.
But I’m a working mom and I don’t have the time to play daily
Dr. Jazmine says that it’s understandable that you have work, house chores, and other responsibilities, and thus, she explained that 5-10 minutes of 1:1 play per day is sufficient, as long as you’re giving it your all.
Let us know if you play with your child regularly. Also, if you’re a working mom, tell us how you manage to dedicate time on a daily basis to play with your child.