Helping Children Play - The Adult Role

Parents and caregivers play a huge role in their child’s physical literacy development. Not only do they provide opportunities for children to play in safe, stimulating environments, they also expose children to new skills. It’s important to be a positive, active role model, but to also let the child take charge at times.

Parents and caregivers can make play more fun and beneficial. They need to play with children, but at other times leave them to play on their own. Always make sure children are in a safe environment.

When children see adults doing activities, their brain cells copy that action. It’s good for parents and caregivers to be active with children, and to make that activity fun. Children pick up on adult attitudes and will establish attitudes of their own based on these early experiences.

Children learn by doing. Therefore, they need active play experiences to teach them. For this to happen, they need a safe play space that’s big enough for them to run around.

Markings and basic toys and equipment are not only affordable ways to entertain children, they are also effective. If children have things to walk and jump over, and have equipment to throw, push and swing, they can start learning necessary skills.

When parents and caregivers play along, they should encourage children by retrieving things and by allowing the children to chase and catch them. Repetition is also an effective way of improving a child’s development. Actively supervise those times when children play alone.

Learn more about the role adults play.