Carving time for the Power of Play in an Over-scheduled Calendar

During the time of virtual learning, it’s important to include the power of play in our everyday lives. Here are some reminders of how to explore play with your kids and keep playtime easy to discover:

  • Create time and space for play – Plan for playtime ahead of time to ensure there’s room for play within a busy day. To get your kids excited about the idea of play, say to them, “Let’s get the Lego’s out tomorrow,” or “Later today we’re going to try a science experiment!”
  • Rediscover play materials you already have – Toys don’t need to always be traditional toy materials; you can discover engaging materials all over your house. Instead of buying new toys to Ingnite the excitement of play for your kids, use imagination to create toys out of everyday objects. For example, boxes can be a fort, time machine, movie theater, store, or whatever you want it to be with a bit of creativity.
  • Risky play isn’t always bad – Sometimes play leads to a scrape on the knee or other minor injuries, and it’s good to acknowledge that that’s normal. If you let kids know the small risks of play are okay, they’ll likely try to explore and create more freely. Exploring risks helps kids to understand their limits and discover how to push themselves.
  • Show your kids how you play – Your kids look up to you to discover new things. Let your kids in on your hobbies, how you like to be creative and what you like to do outdoors to show them how adults play.
  • Play together – Playing with your kids is a great way to bond, build trust, create a strong attachment, and explore together. Let your kid lead the play to learn and guide their thought process. Make everyday tasks playful to teach your kids important skills such as cooking, gardening or cleaning.
  • Don’t let boredom discourage play – When you’re trying a new activity, kids often need some time to get over their discomfort to enjoy the activity. Don’t let their low enthusiasm stop the activity. Wait for them to settle to discover their curiosity.

Playful Tips: Indicators of Playful Learning

  • Choice – Kids are making rules, negotiating, and making the choices surrounding play.
  • Wonder – Kids are creating, pretending, exploring, imagining, and learning from play
  • Happiness – Kids are smiling, laughing, and at ease.

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St. Paul, MN 55102


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