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An Occasion to Play

There’s a fine line between imagination and chaos and often that fine line is drawn at a very young age when children are learning to use their imagination to fulfill wild visions of grandeur. When structure is given to these play times it can be a rewarding experience for both the child and the parent. From building forts and playing pirate ship to quiet times on the floor with Magformers any occasion to play is an occasion to learn.

It’s easy to sit back as a parent and watch your children run around like mad men in an unstructured chaos. We call it “children at play” but in reality it’s just pure chaos and you’re children get very little from it in terms of stimulation, education and character building.

We’ve all seen the child who has trouble differentiating from playtime and the times where we need them to behave like proper young children. If you happen to have a child like this you know just what I’m talking about. At any time you are certain your child will morph into Super-Man and run off to save the world. They’ll most likely hurt their siblings and make them cry in the process. This is not only embarrassing for parents it’s destructive behavior that can affect your child for their entire lives and it’s also a learned behavior that can also affect younger siblings in a very negative manner as well. The good thing is, most of these behaviors can be modified easily by implementing several small tactics that can keep children interested and stimulated as well as developing motor skills, knowledge and social skills. Don’t get me wrong, any time you try to add a little structure to chaos you’ll find pit falls and brick walls but the end result will be a child who can play and function in a manner that benefits everyone.

Trying to build character through play time is one of the most rewarding experiences a parent will have with their children because it’s time you get to spend simply having fun. The first step is to set clear ground rules for the game. For example, setting time limit, or sharing requirements will help you with the structure aspect. Just like adults, children benefit from structure because it gives them parameters to work within.

When playing imagination games (being a pirate trying to recover lost treasure) be prepared to teach. The definition of a parent should be “teacher” because it’s up to you to make sure your children are being mentally stimulated and not just running through their day mindlessly. Before getting involved with kids toys, a new game or adventure with your child, do a little research on your own so you can bring interesting facts or stimulating questions to fun time. This keeps your child mentally involved in playtime and also helps to build on their knowledge. In the world of video games and televised stimulation playtime is rare and when your child does engage in it you can get 10 times more from it by using education to enhance the fun.

Building motor skills is another area that is often overlooked but very crucial in your child’s development. The term “idol hands” is very true in the fact that when your child gets bored, they get into trouble. We’ve all seen it a hundred times. So when you’re down on the floor playing with those MagformersHealth Fitness Articles, challenge your child to build something specific and build one right along side of them. This gives then sensory stimulation and it keeps them involved in the process. Once you build that pirate boat you can float on over to your Playmobil Toys village and search for that elusive gold. Your child will appreciate having a swash-buckling partner to help them and they will be more constructive in the process.

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Author Kimberly Green has 3 children whom she loves to buy fun and interactive kids toys for. They are a useful tool for imaginative play and learning.

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