Expert Advice

The importance of game playing for all the family- Expert opinion

The importance of game playing for all the family- Expert opinion

Sitting down and playing a game is a childhood pastime we all remember, but do you know that it has lots of important developmental qualities too?

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what Dr Amanda Gummer has to say…

“The family who plays together, stays together!

Playing games with the family has a multitude of benefits. First, it instils playful habits that can last a lifetime to help reduce stress and promote development of important skills. It also helps communication and fosters attachment. Whether it’s parents or grandparents, teenagers or toddlers, playing together allows for natural conversation and nothing bonds families like shared laughter.

In young children, it helps them open up and talk about themselves, their interests and their worries much more successfully than a question and answer style conversation. Many parents will be familiar with the monosyllabic answer to the question ‘what did you do at school/nursery today?’, but get the children engaged in a game where you are all focussing on playing rather than questioning and the conversation will flow much more naturally.

It’s best to have a variety of play activities - from making jobs into games (the Mary Poppins approach) to imaginative role play and board games. Not all adults are comfortable or able to get down and play make believe on the floor so make sure the games you choose are fun for you too.

It’s amazing the skills that young children learn from playing games with older siblings and adults in the family. Problem-solving, communication, and social skills such as turn-taking and sharing are complimented by activity-specific learning such as letter recognition or counting.”

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