How To Help Your Toddler To Have Effective Play Time
As many of us know, play is one of the most important things your child can do in a day. We might think that children just Want to play, they actually Need to play. Play is an important feature in a child’s everyday life. It’s how they learn about the world around them and develop vital skills such as fine and gross motor movement, socialisation, language, literacy, and numeracy. So next time your child is pestering for you to play with them, consider the benefit you’ll be doing them in the long run! But how do you know if your child’s play is beneficial? and, at what age should they be able to start playing independently? The answer to both questions is complex. First, let’s talk about how beneficial certain kinds of play are. You can also read our blog post “6 most important types of play to your child’s development”
Benefits Of Play
Think your child’s growing video game addiction is worrying? Think again. Video games have been shown to increase spatial awareness, improve mathematics skills, improve empathy, and even make kids less violent! But does this mean little Jimmy can stay parked in front of the console 24/7? Probably not. Excessive video game use is also linked to poor physical health outcomes. Everything in moderation is better.
What is the best kind of play for my Toddler?
For younger children in the 18-36 month age group, the best kind of play is imaginative. It’s where they can use their minds to create alternate and pleasing scenarios and engage with them. Imaginative play isn’t exclusively in children’s minds. Giving kids the right resources to perform imaginatively is important. You’ll be surprised how quickly a plastic bottle becomes a submarine, or a soft toy an alien beast. The limit really is the kid’s imagination.
How to inspire imaginative play in kids aged 18-36 months?
Give your kids the right tools
While you’ll be surprised how many stories kids can make up off their own imagination, it’s always best to invest in some imaginative toys. The best toys for this age group are wooden blocks and mirror blocks. They have so many different combinations! Also worth a mention are toy animals, marble runs, dress-ups, and pretend kitchens. All these toys have a seemingly endless shelf life when it comes to playability and imaginative scenarios.
Read stories to your Toddler
Stories and picture books are an amazing source of imaginative inspiration. The fantastical characters, the intricate plots, and the detailed images all contribute to the building of imagination – not to mention literacy skills. Picture books let children experience how far imagination can really take you.
Give your child time to play
Kids can often get caught up in their parents’ busy lives. That means they sometimes don’t find time to play. Give them time to unwind and do some play. Sometimes it’s all too easy to park them in front of the TV while dinner is prepared. Instead turn off the TV and give them some time to exercise their imagination instead!
Play with others
Part of play is socialisation. When two kids get together with imaginative tools, the possibilities are endless. All of a sudden they’re acting and moving about while role-playing. They learn to communicate, create rules, act fairly, and empathise with others’ emotions.
Make the play relevant to their lives and their futureIncorporate numeracy skills using blocks and shapes which are vital in creating spatial awareness. Give them picture books to touch and experiment with. You’d be surprised how much of a challenge it is to get kids to read a book the right way up! It’s all super important for their literacy skills.
You can also red our blog post “8 Reasons Why You Should Encourage Imaginative Play in Kids” for more ideas.So now we know what to do to help your 18-36 month old play imaginatively. But is there something you can do to make it better?
How to enhance the experienceWannabees Family Play Town on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is the perfect location for your child’s intellectual development through play and imagination. All the tools that were mentioned to make a fantastic play environment are included at Wannabees.
The Wannabees tour is a comprehensive tour of all of Wannabees. There’s always other kids doing this one, so it’s a great way to socialise and make friends. It’s organised by our experienced staff, so you know the kids’ imaginative play skills are always being tested and extended. The Wannabees tour is play-based and not very intense. It’s a lot of fun and focuses more on having fun through role-play and imagination.