Does your child like to throw toys or put them in his mouth instead of playing with them? Does he make up his own new rules for every game? Don’t get frustrated with him! Observe his method of play to know more about his brain development.
Playing helps children to mature, grow and develop. Play stimulates the brain and helps in social and emotional development. Your young one is slowly growing and developing, so watching him or her play can help you understand them better. Children express themselves through playing, so watching your kid play can give you an understanding of how your child views the world.
Playing Games with Rules
It is usually in the age group of 3-4 years that children start playing games with rules and also start making rules for their games. This type of behaviour generally peaks when they reach the age of 6 or 7. By making rules for games they are learning about cooperation, negotiation, problem-solving and more. Young children want to make sense of their world, and hence they are very interested in rules. You will often find them inventing their own rules also. Some examples of such games are Hide and Seek, throwing and catching, board games, card games, etc.
You might have seen that toddlers or small kids at times don’t play with the toys which you have bought for them. Instead they just keep throwing it around. Throwing stuff is exciting for many babies and toddlers. It is something which they want to do again and again. Once they start doing it, they want to keep doing it. They are discovering gravity and realizing that things will only fall down and not go up. It is a good feeling for them to open up their fingers and let go of an object. They are learning that if a ball is thrown - it bounces, similarly if some other plastic toy is thrown - it goes splat but does not bounce. They are realizing how different objects make different sounds when you strike them on a surface. They are in the process of learning and discovering all this, hence throwing toys around is very exciting and interesting for them.
Playing with different types of Toys
Your child’s choice of toys stimulates development and learning. If they touch toys or put them in their mouth, it means that your child’s sense of touch is developing. Sometimes, you get irritated with children because they keep trying to put toys in their mouth instead of playing. In reality, your child is not just doing it meaninglessly. Rather, he or she is trying to understand the texture of the toy by tasting it and feeling it in the mouth. If your child shows a preference for toys which rattle or make sounds, it means that not only is his sense of sound developing, but his language skills are also developing.
Role Play, Drama and Imaginary Games
We often see how children love to take up roles such as doctor, teacher, policeman, etc while playing. We also see many times how they love to imitate people and animals. Children use role play to pretend they are somebody else and see what it’s like to be in that person’s situation. They want to have a deeper understanding of what it is like to be someone else and view a situation from a different perspective. Role playing is a very natural part of childhood process. We also find that children like to play imaginary games. Looking at the imaginary scenarios which your kids are creating while playing can help you understand what they are working on.
Drawing and Colouring
The benefits of art for kids are many! Apart from studying their play, you can also understand children through drawing and colouring. Drawing is a powerful tool for children to express themselves emotionally. Most children love to draw. Many parents want to find hidden meanings in drawing, but you have to be careful about over-interpreting and over-analyzing. Children’s drawings provide you information about their personalities, perceptions and desires. Their work is often a reflection of their inner world and sometimes the conflicts and difficulties which they are going through are also expressed through drawing. Drawing provides parents an opportunity to gauge their child’s intellectual development. Children may also express their fears through drawings.
Play therapy is a technique used by therapists to help children communicate and deal with psychological issues through playing. Play therapy is often practised with children who have undergone some kind of trauma. A trained play therapist who has good knowledge in the field, can also gauge the current developmental level of a child by observing their play.
Thus, based on play, you can understand your child and judge his or her development. Children should be encouraged to play. They should not be deprived of opportunities to play. Playing should be an important and necessary part of a child’s life. Not only is it a good source of recreation, playing helps them in many other ways as well.Did you know that the way a child plays and the games he chooses to play tell us a lot about his brain development? What games does your child like to play? How do you encourage his brain development? Discuss here.