The relation between children and games is a fundamental aspect of a child’s psychophysical development. From the first few months of life, playing represents the principal means through which a baby gets to know the world. They do so in an exquisitely playful way, even if it’s just by playing with the hair of the person who is holding them.
The parent’s duty during this phase is to sustain a playful approach by sharing these little moments of daily fun. A typical example is when a child, being introduced to the toys hanging above his crib, enjoys the visual and sound effects. In this case, it’s important for the parent to humor the baby’s first giggles, making this fun moment positive and educational.
As the years go by, the way a child plays obviously changes and it’s important for the parents to learn to handle this change.
When the child is about 4 or 5 years old, it’s necessary to steer them towards playing alone. They need to play in practical ways that will stimulate their creativity. You don’t need to get rid of video games, as long as they are educational, non-violent and focus on positive daily situations with useful role models.
In these situations, it’s necessary to help the child develop the ability to process useful symbolism that will be useful for understanding the difference between games and reality. At these points, the role of the parent is simply to monitor. It’s of utmost importance that the parent doesn’t lose track of what the child is doing, but it’s also important not to intervene when they’re in trouble. This will allow the child to become self-sufficient and learn problem solving skills.
During this pre-school period, there is another important matter pertaining to children’s growth and their relationship with games. What is it? Choosing extracurricular activities.
It is a choice that many parents worry about after the last year of kindergarten. What I suggest is not to exaggerate. Everyone, including children, need their “empty” time. Even if it is sometimes boring, it gives them the experience of finding ways to fill in these moments with their own imagination and creativity.
This phrase by the great Bruno Munari should be remembered by all parents because it perfectly summarizes the value of playing. It is an extraordinary developmental medium, the first that allows the child to learn about the world and their unique self.
Discover Smart Tales
Help your child solve the problem solving activities found in the mini-story “The lost pendant”, in “Charlie’s dilemma!” from the ” Save the forest” collection or in the new series with the dinosaur Oscar!