The Importance of Play in our Children’s Lives

Amanda Hall, M.A.
Wishing Star Associate

Play is the work of our children. It allows them to make sense of their world around them, to practice modeling themselves after the adults in their world, and to communicate their emotional experience.

There are lots of different ways that we can engage with our kids in a playful way. Often times we use play as a means to teach our children (i.e. turn takings, sharing, and learning about the world). We also can use play as a means to entertain our children, including joking, laughing and games. Play can also be used as a way to help build our children’s self esteem, and enhance our connection to our kids.

By having a regularly scheduled special play time where you can focus one hundred percent of your attention on your child, you send them a powerful message that they are important, and what they are interested in matters to you. Having a variety of toys laid out for your child can help give them some options. Use this special play time as a time where you child is in charge of what happens. Give yourself permission to take off your teacher and entertainer hats, and to focus on your role as your child’s self esteem booster. Allowing your child to lead the play gives them a chance to feel empowered and can help to stimulate their imaginations and can give them a sense of mastery. Most importantly it can help strengthen the foundation of your relationship with your child and can be a time where you can simply enjoy one another.

This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.