The Little Gym Smithtown is all about the benefits exercise and play add to a child’s development. Our website and brochures have detailed information on how exercise and play affect each area of development, but here we want to talk about the benefits of parent’s play.
We know spending time with our kids is important. We are reminded to read to our children and to hug our children, but what is often left out is the reminder to play with our children! Taking the time to play with your child helps them feel important and valued by you. It is also a great way to “check in” with your child.
Kids imitate adult behavior when they play. This gives the parent the opportunity to see their own behavior through their child’s eye. For instance, a child playing with dolls may have the “mommy” doll reading to the “baby” doll and saying I love you. Or, the “mommy” doll may yell at the “baby” doll to wait until mommy has time. Parents might be surprised at what their child expresses through their play. Maybe you didn’t realize that you yell or maybe you only yelled that one time, but if your child imitates it, it made an impression upon him/her.
Playing with your child provides an opportunity to talk about what is going on in the child’s life. Kids will often talk more while attention is on playthings and not solely directed at them. A parent can learn how the child feels about school, friends, house rules, or the new baby on the way. Parents can guide the play to help facilitate talk on a specific topic, such as using a doll family to act out a new baby coming home.
It is important to focus on your child during play. Let the child feel they are the number one priority to you at that given time. This adds to the importance and value they feel. Of course, there are times when you have to listen for the oven or answer the phone, but try to schedule time into your day when you can tune everything else out.
Some parents say they are not “down on the floor” parents and do not know how to play with their kids. The Little Gym Smithtown provides an excellent opportunity to be guided through down on the floor play. To learn about our programs, please give us a call!
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