Connecting With Your Child Through Play

Play can be the long-sought bridge back to that deep emotional bond between parent and child.  Play, with all its exuberance and delighted togetherness, can ease the stress of parenting. Playful parenting is a way to enter a child’s world, on the child’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence, and connection.
— Lawrence Cohen

Children need to play. It’s their work and way of learning skills, making sense out of their world, and processing their emotions. Children release complicated emotions through play. Laughter specifically reduces stress hormones and increases bonding hormones. Laughter can quickly restore an affectionate connection between adult and child. Play helps parents and kids feel closer, helps kids learn lessons better, and increases cooperation.

Connecting with your child through play can be as little as 2 minutes or as long as 10-20 minutes. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

1.     Play hide and seek

2.     Hold your child in your arms and dance

3.     Play a tunnel activity (similar to London Bridge)

4.     Give a pillow ride (sit on a big floor pillow as you drag him/her around the room, maintaining eye contact)

5.     Play catch! Roll a ball back and forth, bat a balloon back and forth

6.     M&M hockey (use bendy straws and blow M&Ms across the table, then the opponent feeds the person who scores a piece of candy)

7.     Play toys (follow your child’s lead, refrain from asking questions, use undivided attention)

The Play Project

The Play Project is a public awareness initiative developed by The Playroom Lubbock to encourage play, movement, and mindfulness in our kids' lives. Play is how our kids make sense of the world. Many of you have an impact in children's lives through play. The message we want to send is that play and mindfulness is an integral part of life for communicating, coping, adjusting, and discovering. At The Playroom Lubbock we provide therapy solutions for kids using play based interventions to help them fulfill their purpose in this life.

TShirt Designs by Kelly Martin, LPC of The Playroom Lubbock and Regina Penney of Penney Photography and Design.