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Supporting Play Activities

Parents can help playtime to be enjoyable, productive and safe. Here are a few suggestions on how to help your child at play:

Provide a child centered play area:

  • Make sure it is childproof and clean
  • Avoid over-stimulation – especially for babies
  • Allow children to leave constructions up for awhile so they come back and engage in new adventures in the world they created
  • Store play items safely but make them easily accessible

Provide toys with play value that:

  • Can be used in many ways
  • Allow children to determine the play
  • Appeal to children at more than one age or level of development
  • Can be used with other toys for new and more complete play
  • Will stand the test of time and continue to be part of play as develop new interest and skills
  • Help children develop skills important for further learning and a sense of mastery

Encourage a balance in play activities:

  • Reduce or eliminate screen time (1 or 2 hours per day max)
  • Encourage outdoor play that uses large muscles – running, jumping, climbing and playing games is cool
  • Curtail time spent in adult-organized activities – kid directed play is important
  • Don’t allow your child to become over-scheduled – self directed play should be encouraged
  • Encourage new activities such as art, music, building or science – you make the introduction then let them on their own (some will make a hit others won’t and that’s OK)
  • How about letting them work? – kids enjoy helping in the kitchen and in the yard – give younger children junior sized appliances, tools and equipment so they can “work” beside you