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  • 10 Things You’ll Miss About Playtime When Your Child Grows Up

    Time sure flies when you're having fun!
  • It seems as if we can never have enough of playtime with our kids. No matter how busy we are, we drop everything whenever our kids utter the words "Mommy, play with me!" And rightly so, since these precious bonding moments are fleeting. What seems like ordinary play to you is actually helping your child learn.

    Make each moment count, because in the blink of an eye, you'll find yourself missing these 10 precious things:


    1.  That active curiosity

    As they play with toys or role-play with you, they tend to ask how things work or why certain things are done. Take the time to answer them instead of quickly dismissing their questions. In his book The Educated Child, William J. Bennet writes, "Asking questions is perhaps the most obvious way that children learn." It may be exhausting now but, trust us, once they get older and discover Google, you'll long for the days when they ran to you for everything.


    2.  That vivid, colorful imagination

    "The imagination of a creative youngster is unusually active," says Joan Beck, author of How to Raise a Brighter Child. During play, your child's ratty, old blanket becomes his fort. Your neighbor's stray cat? A wild lion. Playtime teaches kids to use their imagination and be creative. Pretty soon, you'll find yourself missing the fort whenever you fold up his blanket.


    3.  That precious smile and cute giggle

    It takes very little to make young ones smile and laugh. Don't you see how your child's eyes light up whenever you plunk down beside him to play? And that cherubic laugh when he says, "Mommy made a mess!" Heaven! Who wouldn't want to spend more time playing with your little angel? Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., M.S.Ed writes in The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds that parents who play with their children also get the opportunity to see the world from their children's perspective.

    4.  That surprisingly clever mind

    Playtime teaches kids to be resourceful, too. "Creative thought can also be viewed as an aspect of problem solving," remarks J.P. Isenberg in Why is Play Important? Broken toy piece? No problem! The twig or bottle cap within your child's reach will work just as well. Even as he grows older, you'll find yourself hoarding a drawerful of bottle caps and waiting for him to ask for one because his toy soldier needs a new "helmet."


    5.  That time you were a beautiful fairy

    Role playing is a form of playtime with your kids. Isenberg points out that noted psychologist Sigmund Freud likened a child to a creative writer "in that he creates a world of his own." Your child will ask you to be everything in an enchanted forest: a tree, a dragon, a bear. Encourage it while you can, and join in by posing as the good fairy or even a mean ogre. Before you know it, the next time you start flitting around like a fairy, your child will be going "Moooom!" out of sheer amusement.


    6.  That performance of silly songs and dances

    Kids tend to make up the silliest tunes and moves. Believe it or not, this is play. This also allows your child to learn about sounds and vocabulary, says Bennett, so go ahead and encourage it while you can. Sing and dance along to what your child is into, or, better yet, make up new songs and steps! Years later, you'll still be humming those songs with a knowing smile on your face.


    7.  That collection of hugs and kisses

    Winners get kisses and losers get hugs? Sounds like a win-win situation! Playtime is one of the rare moments when you can ask for affection just so your child can cross an imaginary bridge. Make sure he can feel your love in every hug!


    8.  That versatile old wardrobe turned into new toys

    During playtime, ordinary objects turn into magical items. Beck notes that children often find unexpected uses for common items. Your box of old clothes becomes your child's dress-up mecca. Take a peek into his imagination: "Who am I today? A superhero, a pirate, or even an astronaut! Daddy's old tools can be part of an F1 pit stop. Mommy's fancy jewelry is the hidden treasure that needs to be scavenged." Whatever the scenario, have fun getting creative with your child.


    9.  That time he first did something

    His first time on the big slide. His first bicycle ride without training wheels. You'll remember it as his first, but what he'll actually remember is that you were there, holding his hand and guiding him through it. "Quite simply," says Dr. Ginsburg, "play offers parents a wonderful opportunity to engage fully with their children."


    10. That after-play bonding

    After each playtime adventure—as the toys are put away or the "mission" comes to a close—you and your child will still be talking about what just happened and the lessons learned, maybe even over his favorite snack or chocolate drink. This is the perfect time to make it a lasting memory for both of you. This special bond is confirmed by Dr. Ginsburg. He writes, "The interactions that occur through play tell children that parents are fully paying attention to them and help build enduring relationships."

    Your child's formative years should be filled with memories of play, especially the ones he has spent with a parent. Make sure you won't miss out on these moments by setting aside enough time for play. For kids, it's a more fun, active, and memorable way of saying "I love you."

    Make playtime even sweeter with NESTLÉ CHUCKIE! Get more fun bonding ideas on www.facebook.com/Chuckie.ph.




    Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development http://www.education.com/reference/article/importance-play--social-emotional/

    The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds, Kenneth R. Ginsburg http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182.full

    William J. Bennett, The Educated Child https://books.google.com.ph/books/about/The_Educated_Child.html?id=HJVAcIjPDjUC&redir_esc=y

    Joan Beck, How to Raise a Brighter Child https://books.google.com.ph/books/about/The_Educated_Child.html?id=HJVAcIjPDjUC&redir_esc=y

This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with Nestle Chuckie.