Children and the power of play
Most of a child’s day goes by in play. This is the way they engage and express themselves. Play is the medium for children to interact with their peers and build relationships. The types of games children play a huge role in the development of their creative thinking, problem–solving, identifying and overcoming challenges. When children get a safe environment to explore and have the liberty to make mistakes and fail without judgement, they tend to thrive.
What games and activities will help children develop creativity and other life skills?
Though tempting, it is not important for you to have a stock of fancy and expensive game options for your child to learn essential life skills. It is easy and equally effective to engage your child in simple games that are equally interesting and engaging. Some of such games for kids are mentioned below:
Dominoes – A simple game that teaches your child one of the most important life lessons – patience. Children are pushed to slow down and focus on ensuring precision.
Age group: Children as old as 4 or 5 years would typically start to love dominoes with a loving adult by their side to make it a fun activity to indulge in.
Puzzles – There are various puzzles for children that can be chosen based on a child’s ability and age. Block puzzles, two-piece or three-piece puzzles or more complex ones. These build concentration and memory.
Age Group: Babies can start playing with very simple puzzles at around 6 months or when they can sit up on their own. Once they are 2 years and above, puzzles may capture their attention more.
Dance – Who doesn’t enjoy a good dance? Dance moves for children is one of the best ways to relieve stress and to get those limbs moving. It is also a very good means for parents and caregivers to bond with their children.
Age Group: Children can start dancing for fun as young as 2 years old. And the best age to start learning to dance for those who are looking to start learning and are taking their dance lessons seriously would be between 7 and 9 years, depending on how ready and mature they are.
Cook/ Bake – Involving children in food preparation is a good way to encourage healthy eating habits in them. They also develop self-confidence, fine motor skills, and attention span.
Age Group: Most toddlers and preschoolers love to help with cooking and baking. But always be mindful that children this age will need a lot of help from adults.
Scavenger Hunt for toddlers– Children love adventure and surprises. Scavenger hunts keep their curiosity alive while helping them think, analyze clues, and enhance their sensory development.
Age Group: The game is a simple way to create a day's worth of entertainment for children of any age, from preschoolers to teenagers.
Board Games – Possibly one of the oldest games to engage children and adults alike, board games are an easy go-to when looking for options to play with your child. Apart from the excitement and comradery this brings, board games for children are space-saving and can be carried along anywhere.
Age Group: Most experts agree that board games are appropriate for children as young as 3 years old as this is the time when they start to follow instructions.
Walks/ Play Ball - All forms of physical activities are important in developing and enhancing motor skills in children. Getting them close to nature, aiding them in staying healthy, and ensuring they burn some of their energy are some crucial factors in early childhood development.
Age Group: By the age of 2 a child should be able to walk, and run well, and this would be the best time to introduce them to the importance of physical activities and staying healthy.
Significance of playing games
Keeping your little living power houses occupied is not an easy task. While most play has learning involved, it is necessary for parents and caregivers to give their child the appropriate toddler games to play to ensure they grow to their full potential.
Along with all the developmental benefits that kids educational games have, one of the most important life skills that children learn through play is the importance of participating. They understand that it is not always about winning a game but being able to enjoy the process. They, therefore, learn that losing is also part of the process and should be taken in stride. This not only helps them accept failure but ensures they are able to rise to the challenge and overcome it.