Playtime can certainly be a part of your children’s exercise. They are not exclusive, but play time can also vary in the level of physical activity. Your children do need to play with toys and games, as well as “play school” or “play work.” Your children are going to create the foundation for their social, intellectual, physical, and emotional skills by playing. When your children play with other children, they are learning how to combine ideas, feelings, and impressions with others. “Play time” should be defined as letting your children sit in their room, in a play area, or doing an activity that engages and stimulates their mind. This will help your child explore their potential and the various possibilities that exist.
The world’s inventors have invented plenty of toys and games for your children. Some of these games are more mentally and emotionally active than others. You don’t want to limit what your child can play with—that is to say, you should not avoid certain toys because they don’t seem to provide enough value to your child’s intelligence.
Less Brain Stimulating Toys
There are certain toys that are going to stimulate your child’s brain a lot less than others. But always forcing your child to learn, while playing can be detrimental to their growth, just as never supplying learning style toys.
Dolls, for example, don’t teach your children how to count or how to tell time. However, dolls can be used to teach responsibility. Let’s say your 8-year-old is getting a new baby brother or sister, you can use a doll to teach them how to hold a baby, how to change the diaper, and how to dress the baby.
A doll can also be a friend and companion that shares “secrets” with your child. If there is something your child cannot say to you or a “little secret” that is not really a secret that they wish to tell, can be told to the doll.
Dolls can also be used to set up a social situation for your daughter to control. Many children have used dolls and stuffed animals to act out situations, concerns, stresses, and confusion. If you pay close attention you can see their emotions through their interactions with these toys. Sometimes it is easy to get an answer about something that is troubling them, if you watch how they play with stuffed animals and dolls.
So, while these toys are not going to teach intelligent concepts like math, spelling, and clock reading, these toys can provide social and emotional learning.
These varieties of toys are designed to truly stimulate brain growth and intelligence. Blocks in various shapes, where you place the block in a bin based on its shape is just one example. Your child has to be able to recognize the shape and correspond it to the hole in the tub. They also have to be able to orient it to fit in the proper hole. It is a way to build motor skills for toddlers, but also to increase their recognition. By the time your child gets to geometry in school, they should understand the correlation between those block shapes and geometric shapes—that is if you work with them.
Building blocks and other blocks can also teach motor skills, as well as spatial awareness. A child who builds a home out of Legos is gaining intellect and using their brain.
Just as you want your child to learn and do educational activities, you want your child to play and use their full brain—not just the left or right side brain. Creativity is often said to be a right brain activity, while intellectual concepts like reasoning are more of a left brain usage.
Suggestions for Intellectual Play
There are numerous strategy games and learning games that can be used during playtime. If you are raising an only child, you do need to make certain you are helping them by playing these games.
Top Strategy Games
There are certainly more games that can be added to this list. However, it gives you an idea of what this category is about. Chess is certainly a strategy game. The best players are able to think several moves ahead and change their strategy as the other play tries to win. Three of these games are for older children, someone that is eight or older. Many times kids who are 12 or older prefer chess, Risk, and Strategy because of the higher intellect required.
Battleship is more of younger child’s game. It requires a person to think about where the ships may be on their opponent’s board. They cannot just ask, “did I get a hit,” without some sort of thought process.
Clue can also be added to this list as a strategy game, beyond a fun game. In Clue, you have to infer what another player has based on what you have. One of the best strategies is to use two known factors to discover an unknown. It allows you to control the answer you receive.
Of course, you might need to ask the next player the same question on a new round; however, without controls in place you may never get the answers you need.
Learning strategy and inference helps your child adapt to various situations. It teaches cognitive reasoning too. If your child can examine numerous situations they are in and discover a “best course of action” answer, then they will be better able to handle life. A child that is stuck on one way to do something is going to find it hard to adapt to any given situation. As the parent you are responsible for helping your children learn these concepts.