Playing with family members
Once the meeting starts, welcome everyone and ask the participants: • Who can help us remember what we talked about in our last meeting? • Who was able to do the activity at home that we asked you to do at the end of the meeting? How did it go? • Does anyone have questions or concerns after doing the activity?
What are we going to learn? The importance of parents playing with their children.
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT: We are going to look at some pictures, so we can talk about what we all know about this topic.
What common household things could you use to create interesting games or toys for two-year olds to play with? Why do you think it is important for two-year olds to learn to play a variety of games?
What type of games have you seen two-year-olds like to play?
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“The families that play win” We will learn games that can be played as a family with 2 year-old.
What we’ll need: • Container with pieces of paper (see below) • Newspaper • Basket • Pieces of cardboard
WHAT WE’LL DO: • Start out by explaining that playing is very important for the development of a child. When families play with the children everyone can have fun and it also contributes to their emotional, mental and social health. Today we are going to learn 4 different games that we can play with children at this age. • Divide the group by passing out pieces of paper that have the names of four games that the families are going to play: the hungry wolf, basketball, the ocean, and hot-cold. • When everyone has their paper with one of the 4 games, everyone should start to walk around and look for others that have the same game. You should have enough papers to divide the group into 4 smaller groups, each group should represent a family. When everyone is in their small group, have each group select a name for their “family.” • Hand out the instructions for each game and have the groups that are simulating a family play the games, including the two-year-old children. (see below) • At the end of the game, comment on the what it felt like to have everyone in the family participate.
Family games: • The hungry wolf. Choose a member of the family to be the wolf, they should cover their eyes with their hands and count to ten. During this time the rest of the family should hide, making sure that the older members of the family take care of the younger ones. When the wolf stops counting they can begin to look and “hunt” everyone else until they trap someone, then this person become the next wolf. • Basketball. Make several medium sized balls with the newspaper. Place a big basket across the room and take turns trying to throw a ball into the basket. The person that gets the most balls in the basket wins. • The ocean. Imagine that the yard is a large ocean. Place different objects (like pieces of cardboard, blocks and bags, etc.) in the ocean to form a “bridge” to get across the ocean. Take turns jumping from object to object until everyone gets to the other side. • Hot/Cold. Adults and children should take turns hiding a toy and shouting “hot” or “cold” until the child or adult finds the toy
75 OTHER SUGGESTIONS: Here are some other suggestions for creative games to play at home: • Build a community. Using boxes and materials from around the community, construct a miniature community in your yard. You can make houses out of the boxes and road out of sand or dirt. You can use little cards to drive on the rods you have made • Playing with water. Allow the child to wash some household objects or make them little boats out of paper…children love to get wet and play with water!
What did we learn today? Now, we’ll review what we discussed today. • How do you feel after this meeting? Why? • What are the two most important things you’ve learned today? • What will you do differently based on what you learned during the meeting? • What did you like the most? Are there things you didn’t like? • Do you have any remaining concerns or questions about what we talked about? To finish: what would you recommend to improve today’s meeting when we do it again with another group. (Explain that replying this question will help the meeting be even better in the future for parents with small children.)
To do at home:
• Tell families to pick an activity that they can play with the whole family and to pick a day to play it.
Basic information for the facilitator: Learning more about play: 1- Playing with themselves: At the age of two children start to have more time to play by
themselves. It can be observed how they talk and emit sounds when they play. It is suggested that adults respect their private space and playtime. There are many tools that ca be helpful to stimulate play, for example: colored sticks, different sized balls, allowing children to play with the water or toys during bath time.
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2- With the family: At this age it is suggested that the family, especially the parents, play with
their children physically, as full body games help to stimulate a child’s development. For example ball games, jumping, running, dancing, playing musical instruments. Playing is one of the most important elements for child’s development in the future. It helps them learn the skills of “practicing” and “repeating”, things they will use in daily life. Playing recreates the information that children capture from their surroundings and makes it part of their learning structure, a practice which allows them to build their capabilities. Many authors talk about the importance of teaching children optimism and the happiness of life from an early age, especially at an age when they copy what they observe. If they observe aggression, pessimism and anger they will repeat these actions in their play. Because of this, it is fundamentally important that what they observe around them is environment that is loving, pleasant and respectable with clear limits in order to construct a healthy stable person.
Playing alone: Playing alone is very important for the development of a child, children often take this play very seriously as it is their way of learning and reflecting. It is suggested that you don’t interrupt or take away their games as this can be interpreted as being invasive and disrespectful. For the child the object they are playing with is very important, even if to us it appears to be of little value, because of this we should respect the child and the object. It is still very important to keep a watchful eye on the child to make sure they don’t hurt themselves while playing.
4- Playing with the family: The relationship between a mother and a child is a fundamental
factor that heavily influences the development of a child in the future. The relationship is the strongest during the first year. The mother and father should take advantage of times of play with their child in order to create a space for a relationship that is affective, integrated, one with open communication, and care with the baby.
5- Consequences of the absence of play: The absence of a mother, little support for their
basic needs and play, may cause set backs in the development and intellectual growth, expression, and social and emotional behavior. It has been observed that the absence of playtime provokes aggression, insecurity and constant fear in children.