The “Power of Play” Builds Brains and Bonds Families

Playtime is good for children, good for families, and just good fun. Studies have long shown that playtime is critical learning time for young children. When parents and caregivers get down on the floor and become part of a child’s world, they help the child build his or her vocabulary and communications skills. But, playtime is also critical to emotional development and bonding.

Children learn how to express their thoughts and feelings when playing with grownups. They also build warm relationships and strong attachments during these caring interactions. When parents join in playtime, children begin to feel important and develop confidence and a sense of self worth. Not to mention, playtime offers stress relief for parents.

In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina offers families suggestions for making the most out of playtime.

• An empty box can become a fort, a playhouse, a train, or a spaceship. Let your child decide, and then help them cut out windows and doors.

• Listen to music together. Make up a song. Dance!

• Set up a “restaurant” with plates, mugs, etc. Have your kids come up with a menu based on whatever you have in the cupboard, and help serve the meal.

• Turn out the lights and make shadow animals on the wall. Create a play or show starring your shadows.

• Save milk jugs, cereal boxes, and plastic jars, then create a grocery store. Your child will have a blast “shopping” for all their needs.

Learn more about child abuse prevention at http://www.preventchildabusenc.org.

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