Children Learn a Lot When They Play
This brochure introduces parents of preschool
children to the importance of peer playing. For many children, this
comes naturally as they attend child care, play with extended family,
or participate in local play groups. For some families, opportunities
to play with other children may be less frequent.
When children play with others their own age, they learn to cooperate
and problem solve, allowing development of empathy and conflict resolution
skills. The brochure offers practical hints for parents to help children
learn how to play, make the playing opportunities successful, and
problem solve conflicts that may arise. This brochure includes suggestions
from focus groups with parents.
The brochure also assists parents in problem solving common difficulties, aggression
and rejection. Both of these are common in social relationships. Developing
skills to handle aggression and rejection early helps children play
cooperatively in school and do better socially and academically later
in life. Children who do not acquire these skills prior to school
are at risk for a number of problem behaviors, including violence.
How to Use This Tool
- Discuss child development by asking, "Does your child have
any opportunities to play with other kids his own age?" There
will be a variety of responses from families, which will lead
to either a discussion of how to find other children to play with
or a brief discussion of how the child plays.
- Model problem solving during the visit. For example, if there
are any difficulties with peers, use this time to problem solve
the child's play and playmate situations.
Try to notice something about the child's attire, toys they bring,
or behavior."I see you really like trucks. Do you and your friends
play with trucks a lot?"
Kids Samples Home
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