For toddlers, life is all about using their imaginations and having fun through play. But as your little ones start school, you may notice as it can be hard to find the time. They come home feeling tired and exhausted, often falling asleep on the sofa before dinner, leaving less time for play.
However, as well as being fun, play also helps children to learn and develop new skills, making it an important part of their development. This means all children should have the chance to play, but how can you do this?
Here are some ideas to make time for play.
Include Nap Time
Starting school can be tiring, leaving your children feeling drained. To combat this, it may be a good idea to let them have a short nap, especially during the first few weeks. Don’t let them sleep for too long, as this will interfere with their bedtime routine, but allow them to recharge their batteries a little so they can have some fun.
Invite Their Friends
It can take a while for children to feel settled at school, so ask your little one if they’d like to invite a friend for tea. This will make them excited, help them to stay awake after school and make play time more fun. It could also boost their friendship and make them feel happier at school.
Try New Things
Make the most of their play time by introducing new activities. This could be picking them up from school and taking them to soft play, booking them a place on a dance class, or letting them try a new hobby. This makes play more of an event, adds structure to their new routine and gives them something to look forward to each week.
Spend Time Outdoors
After spending all day inside a classroom, why not head outdoors? After all, play is about more than games and toys. You could have fun in the garden by building a blanket fort, let them hop on their scooter and go for a walk, or spend an hour at a local park.
Encourage Their Creativity
Play should be about having fun, using their imagination and letting go. So, help them to escape by encouraging them to be creative. You could get out the dressing up box, have a fun painting session, or make up new games to play.
Include Play in Their Routine
Finally, and most importantly, make play a part of their daily routine. Try to remember this as they get older, too. While their tastes will change, it’s important that children – and adults – continue to have fun as they grow up. This will help them relax, especially when they start getting homework.
All these ideas can be used to ensure they enjoy playtime daily, whether for an hour or a full evening. Try them and see what you think.