Children’s Key Skills on Play and Learn

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Children’s Key Skills on Play and Learn

1. Creating Time Try to plan ahead. Identify 10-15 minutes per day when you can play with the least interruptions. Turn the television off and involve brothers and sisters.

2. Involving Your Child Ask your child what they enjoy playing. Let them choose what they want to play. You would be surprised how many parents automatically decide how, what and when they are going to play. Children learn best and enjoy play more when they decide how they want to play and at what pace. Importantly their concentration, enjoyment levels and good behavior increases as a consequence! Hence there are strong “pay-offs” for both the child and parent.

3. Getting Down To Your Child’s Level Preparing for play is important. Make sure you are close to your child, have eye contact and show that you are interested e.g. if your child is playing on the floor, sit on the floor with them.

4. Describing What You See Let your child pick a play activity and as your child is playing just concentrate on describing what you see in a very positive tone of voice e.g. “you have picked up the red brick and are placing it on the blue brick”. This skill will need a lot of practice as you will inevitably want to direct the play by saying such things as “I know lets put this brick on top of this other brick”. Avoid asking questions and copy your child’s play.

5. Praising What You See When you feel totally comfortable with describing what you see, try to begin to use descriptive praise i.e. “what a good girl for putting that red brick on the blue brick”. Be close when you praise, smile, get eye contact, use touches, hugs and strokes. Be sincere and genuine and praise as soon as possible after the good behaviour in order to encourage them to repeat it. Your child needs to know that you are pleased in order for them to learn self-confidence and to explore further. They are learning to be co-operative rather than to be defiant.

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