One of the frequently asked questions is that how much time parents need to dedicate to play with their babies and children? It is an established fact that your help your child with development and growth when you encourage him or her to play. But is there a right amount of time that parents should spend with their kids in play? And if there is such a thing, what kind of play activities parents should get involved with?
The short answer is that no hard and fast rules and guidance exist about how long parents should play with their babies. But it depends on the attention span of your baby and how willing your child is to play away from you without your permanent and immediate affection and presence.
The best way to know how much time a parent needs to play is to follow your baby’s lead in this matter. Kids will themselves let you know when they are ready to play with you.
For first two or three months, babies have almost zero attention span and they do not have any interest in playing with you. The baby’s time is spent mostly eating, sleeping and cuddling.
But as they get older, you will notice a difference in their attention span growing at an amazing rate. And this is the time when as a parent you can introduce your child to playtime.
At the start, playing with your child only means interacting and talking with him or her. Babies start to recognize their parents very quickly and they are always fascinated by their mere presence and will mostly respond to any kind of attention you give them.
As the child becomes more responsive, it is time to introduce simple kids toys like rattles or stuffed toys. Different toys indirectly and directly teach children about their bodies and surroundings. It is important that you get different sensory toys for your children because they will learn with these.
The most important thing to remember is to pay attention to your child when your playing with him or her. When they do not appear interested in playing with you, you should not force playtime on them thinking that they need to play more.
When a baby wants to play, it will become obvious. You can easily know if they want to play or not by paying attention to children’s’ mood and involvement prior to and during the play.
It is also important that you take your child’s lead in deciding how to play. Let them play whatever way they want. If they want to play with blocks, you should not force them to play hockey. If they just want to have a conversation with you, then follow that lead and do not stress play. Spending any time with your child is playtime.
Your playtime with your child is as important as their playing independently. Therefore, always keep looking for opportunity to play with your baby and always give him or her your undivided attention during play.