In these unprecedented times, kids need to play like never before. While bringing moments of joy to the whole family, children normally learn and create through play. It encourages confidence, imagination, emotional skills, and the resilience that has become increasingly important over the last few months. Families that play together are happier together. In this way, in a time of great uncertainty, play might be the only remedy for stress we all need.
Prepare a playful mindset –Try to ensure you are truly present in the moment so even if you only have 20 minutes to play with your kids, it is 20 minutes of quality time together.
Make routines playful – Routines don’t have to be boring; pretending to be in a marching band when going to bed, singing songs while getting dressed or playing “Simon says” while brushing teeth are all examples of ways to make routine more playful. Routines help children feel safe and secure as they know exactly what to expect and when.
Mix play spaces – At times like this when space may be limited, expand the play area into the digital world. Children are great at fluid play; they move seamlessly from physical play into the digital play world. Kids can build with LEGO® bricks and then bring them to life in a virtual game or make stop-motion videos with you. These are all great ways to mix play spaces and let creativity soar.
Stay active – Physical play can be hard at home, but it is more important than ever; it burns off energy, is a natural mood booster and helps children develop gross motor skills.
Play something you enjoy – Play is more fun for everyone if parents enjoy it as well as children. Whether it is a favorite family board game, trying out a new craft or making paper airplanes, it is much easier to pay attention and leave stress behind when you enjoy the play activity.
Digital play can help connect families – Online games can be fun and bring people together. Even families that are separated can easily stay connected by playing online multiplayer games which can also help kids develop communication skills.
Find play activities that help you relax – Putting puzzles together, building LEGO models, coloring or even baking can be really relaxing as they help the whole family focus on the present moment and enter a state of mindfulness.
Connect, do not correct – Whatever activity you do as a family, try to not correct your child too much. At a time of uncertainty, play is about having fun, and children will learn naturally from mistakes. Ask why they put that brick where they did, or whether they think the batter is mixed well enough. By being supportive, we can help foster resilience and a growth mindset.
Tune in – Many families are experiencing changes to their routine which can leave children feeling confused and unsettled – this is a completely normal response to uncertain times. Recognizing this and tuning in to the mood of each member of the family can help us understand what kind of play is best for that moment.
The LEGO® Play Agents help families with tips and activities for learning through play at home. Join David, Iori and Sheon for a fun memory game that allows you to practice working memory and problem solving.
Are you interested in LEGO® for your travel retail business? Please contact Tatiana Pinto, Brand Manager of DFD’s toys cluster.