Playful engagement may come easier to some than others. However, creating opportunities for and occasionally getting involved in your child’s unstructured free play, in addition to the developmental benefits, also provides a wonderful opportunity for bonding.
Step 1: Disconnect from your phone, emails and other screens and be fully present in the moment. Easier said than done, but perhaps airplane mode may come in handy for a short period of time. You’re going on an adventure after all ?
Now that you’re ready to play:
- To ease the process of joining in your child’s play, pick up a toy or object that closely relates to the play they are engaged in;
- get down to your child’s level;
- mimic your child’s play and go with their play script (remember unstructured free play is their opportunity to direct and make choices regarding their play);
- ask why, what, who questions and tell me more about to elicit non-literality and gain an understanding of their inner play world;
- observe their play cues, such as offering an object or toy, and body language;
- use your own facial expressions and body language to get fully involved and… have fun!