How to Engage Your Child in Play

CME WebsitesChild Routines, Parent Routines, Play Time

Ideas for Playing with Your Child

One play idea is to set a theme for your week. For example: Vehicles.

Go to the library and check out books on vehicles. Identify pictures of vehicles in magazines. Draw pictures of vehicles. Sort the play vehicles your child has at home. Go for a walk with your child and search for red vehicles, etc.

Parenting is a busy job. Although every parent wants time to sit on the floor and play with their child, this is not always possible (nor always necessary).
Part of growing up is learning to do many of the chores of life together.

Taking a task that needs to be completed, and allowing your child to participate, may take a few extra minutes but in the long run, your child will not only develop important skills, but also feel helpful and successful. It also works wonders for the adult soul, to add a new perspective to your daily routines.

A few everyday activities that may not at first seem like children’s play, but that can become play activities to do with your child:

  • Grocery shopping: Ask you child to point to or pick out the blue cans or the milk with the pink label. Have your child help you put things onto the conveyor belt by passing the items to them from the cart. With this game you are working on colors, shapes, and upper body strengthening.
  • Unpacking groceries: Depending upon the age of your child, place him or her on the floor with the grocery bags around. Ask your child to hand you the cans, or place them on the counter. Can your child sort them by color or size? For older children, include them in the process of putting groceries away, even teaching where a few of the items go. You are helping your child to follow directions and learn colors, as well as with matching, lifting, reaching, holding, strengthening, and visual scanning, to name a few.
  • Sorting socks: Have your child try to match the socks and hand them to you. Once bundled, toss them to your child to practice catching skills. You can take this one step further to have your child toss them into a basket to carry and put away.