9 tips to make playtime a more meaningful time
1. Modeling- if you want your child to be healthy both physically and emotionally, your best path for achieving this is for you as a caregiver to model this behaviors for them. Participate in the games with them. Jump, roll around, Roar like an animal – it's good for you too! Remember, Children mirror your behavior. Try to set the best example you can.
2. Be Enthusiastic –Turn the small into great! Enthusiasm can have a powerful impact on our moods, our behavior, and our physical performance. It is actually a learned skill, one that gets better the more we practice it. Enthusiasm is contagious, be a carrier! And playtime will surely be more fun and engaging.
3. Find an accurate challenge – if the challenge is too hard for the children, they will become frustrated, and if it's too easy they will become bored. The art is to find that path in the middle, when it's just challenging enough to keep them trying and eventually succeeding. This will ensure great joy and a sense of accomplishment.
4. Feedback the process– try to emphasis and support the child's effort, trial and error. Encourage him throughout the process. Not only on the final result. Make falling fun and make sure to get up with a smile and try again. Try and avoid using definitive phrases like you are such a talented, smart, and gifted Child.. (The risk here is that if they fail the task they are no longer that gifted child. So they will be reluctant to try new things) instead, praise more the effort used. Like – I like the way you dealt with this challenge. Good effort. Nice fall, that's the way etc. That's how we encourage our children to have a growth mindset in appose to a fixed mind set. More on the subject check out the fascinating work of Dr. Carol Dweck's from Harvard University. https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/
5. Encourage creativity and imagination- kids have an amazing imaginative world and have lots of great playing ideas, make sure to say yes to their creativity and it will sure lead to beautiful new places.
6. Be present – this are the best moments of our life. Spending quality times with our loved ones. Try to put aside your other obligations for a while. Maybe Put the phone on mute. And just be present in the experience.
7. Play seriously but don't take yourself too seriously – Play is serious business. It li like fireworks going off in the brain. So much cognitive, emotional and physical learning happens while playing. In play we can experience all ranges of emotions. It is crucial for our and our children's health and development.
8. Learn from them- Our children naturally have amazing vitality and energy, curiosity and imagination. They can enjoy tremendously the little things in life. We have so much to learn from them. We have an opportunity to rediscover and connect with our inner child that is always there inside of us.
9. Try to finish with a sense of success – as humans we tend to remember experiences we had by the way they ended. So make sure to finish playtime in a positive note. It will make sure the children will keep coming back for more J