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Enjoy Your Kids!

Many parents or child care workers observe children, protect them, converse a bit with them, and break up disagreements, but they do not engage in fun with the children. They do not join with them in silliness, games, or playing with toys. But this is a vital way to bond with children and you will become their very favorite person on the planet.

 Here are some guidelines in regard to playing with your children:

  •  Don’t push children into playing with a toy or game that is produced for older kids. It won’t speed up their development; it will just prove frustrating to them. The recommended ages for toys and games are usually set by professionals who know a lot about what age groups can handle.
  • Go outdoors whenever possible. Kids need room to wander and space to run around. They need to burn up that excess energy that can drive you crazy if it’s pent up for hours on end.
  • When bad weather makes outdoor play impossible, you and your kids can both become moody and upset. Make them a “tent” or “den” using old blankets or sheets draped over a sofa, a table, or something tall object. Kids love crawling in and out endlessly.
  • If children are sitting around or wandering aimlessly, introduce a toy to them by going to them and beginning to play with it. They will almost always engage in play with you. Other times, allow the children to select specific toys with which they want to play.
  • If a toy is a learning toy, don’t give in to the temptation of always doing the learning part for them. Give a demonstration and then let them overcome the challenge and learn to do it themselves. Though unspoken, it will give them a good feeling of accomplishment
  • Relax! Sure, you’re a sophisticated adult, but when you’re with children it’s honestly okay to be a little silly. Monkey around with your children and be a kid again for a little while. They’ll love you for it.
  •  Let your children’s imagination run wild. Whether they’re working on an art project or dressing up in adult clothing, let their creative juices flow. They might surprise you with the ideas they spawn and the fun, creative things they think up.
  • Why buy expensive, elaborate toys for children, especially those too young to appreciate them or use them correctly?  Also, don’t buy inferior, easily broken toys; they’ll probably be un-useable within a week or two. Have you ever noticed what fun young children can have with a large cardboard box, wrapping paper, outlandish clothing, or a hundred other things that aren’t even toys. It’s always funny to see young children gaining far more entertainment at Christmas from the boxes, wrapping, and bows than the actual gifts they’ve been bought.
  •  I know, I know, you are so busy you don’t have a spare hour to play with your kids. That’s no excuse. Time isn’t a big deal to children. Many times they’ll enjoy fifteen minutes of play with an adult just as much as they’d enjoy two hours. Take the few minutes you have and make the best of them!

 –Debra Fortosis

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