As occupational therapists who specialize in play-based therapy, we couldn’t agree more with the findings discussed in THIS tremendous report on play. Understanding that playtime with children isn’t about the action itself but the connection it creates is critical information for all parents.
Do you think it would be too much if we designed “Play with Me!“ tags to attach to every newborn before they leave the hospital? Perhaps we could issue a PSA about putting playtime before chores, work and the daily tasks of running a household… Until we decide the best way to shout it to the world, we’ll start by sharing information about playful parenting and ask our readers to reshare with parents, caregivers, and educators in your lives.
“We are our children’s first playmate and children from birth to age three spend more time at home than at any other age. A crucial, long-lasting bond can be established through playful interactions, laying the foundation for a positive and healthy relationship that can grow throughout their childhood.”
While this article takes a deep dive into the bond formed during a child’s early years, the importance of playing with your child isn’t something they outgrow. It’s never too late to start relating to your child on a deeper level through play-based activities. A lot of healing can occur over a cup of imaginary tea or while racing cars across the kitchen floor.
This is a topic we discuss often with parents at AZ+A. Building a strong parent/child connection happens throughout childhood and into adulthood. Being open to different parenting philosophies and trying new approaches to connect with your child matters more than doing everything perfectly from the beginning. No parent should try to live up to that standard, we’re human after all!