The Power of Play

Jun 12, 2024 | blog

“Mom, Dad … come and look! See what I can do!” Whether we are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or simply have children around us, we often hear these invitations. Children want to involve us in their world of play and fantasy, but do we truly grasp the incredible power of play?

A few years ago, I attended the virtual launch of the Caregiver Learning Through Play Project. Esteemed organisations like Hope Worldwide South Africa and Save the Children, along with their partners, rolled out this initiative in South Africa. They understood the critical role parents play in every aspect of their children’s lives, especially in play. The project’s aim was to foster a behaviour change among caregivers, emphasising the vital importance of play. If there’s one thing often misunderstood, it’s the profound impact of play.

How wonderful is this! This aligns perfectly with the mission of Give a Child a Family Africa. We firmly believe that play is essential in a child’s upbringing. Over the years, parents and caregivers who have completed our parenting training programmes have learned about the significance of play and discovered the joy of engaging in their children’s games.

Play is not merely a fun activity for children; it is much more. It aids their physical, intellectual, and emotional development and helps them adapt socially. Play is meaningful and helps children make sense of the world around them. It brings smiles and laughter but also teaches them how to handle frustrations and conflicts. Play involves children deeply, allowing them to practice new skills, explore possibilities, and learn to communicate with others.

Playing with our children allows us to focus solely on them. It strengthens the bond between us and serves as an excellent communication tool. We support them as they try new things and grow in confidence. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Many parents mention that they lack time, but prioritizing time with children will benefit them for the rest of their lives. A short while each day makes all the difference. Playing is learning, and the opportunities children receive at an early age significantly enhance their chances for a bright future.

Anna-Karin Öhrnstedt

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