New Website Helps You Bring Play to Every Day
By Dianne Krizan, President
Sometimes raising kids is fun and rewarding. Sometimes it’s hard and exhausting.
Either way, doing your best to maintain a playful attitude helps – making the good times even more joyful and the tough patches more manageable.
As a parent who navigated the ups and downs of raising two kids into adulthood, I know that staying upbeat and playful is easier said than done.
That’s why I’m so pleased the museum has launched a new section of our website called “Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day.” The site features activity ideas, supportive tips and articles intended to give families the information and inspiration they need to weave play into the fabric of their daily lives.
The site will provide a steady stream of new material:
- Prompts and activity guides to spark hands-on learning
- Questions from parents answered by child-development experts
- Simple tips to practice playful parenting at home, on the road, at the store and everywhere else
- Articles about the importance of play and trends in playful learning
What’s So Great About Play?
Play builds your child’s brain. When kids play, they develop the skills they need to thrive at home, in school and everywhere else.
“The importance of playful learning for children cannot be overemphasized.” – The American Academy of Pediatrics
Play is especially powerful when children take the lead, when adults give them the time and freedom to explore their interests, experiment, make mistakes and try, try again. At the museum, we describe experiences like these as “open-ended, child-directed” play.
Enhancing the Play
Parents have an important role to “play” in their child’s play. Sometimes hanging back, letting a child work through challenges on their own, creates space for powerful learning moments.
Other times, joining in the fun as a sidekick elevates the play. Talk, read, sing and dance along.
Observing and reflecting while a child plays is incredibly powerful, too. What does your child find fascinating? Why? What challenges are they tackling? How?
Thankful for Support
The museum is producing playful parenting resources in part through a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Upcoming content will be supported by a grant from the State of Minnesota’s Arts and Culture Heritage Fund.
The grants are helping the museum support families as our region continues to rebound from the pandemic. We know that play is an important driver of healthy child development. Play cultivates social-emotional development, builds family bonds and reduces the negative effects of stress.