As a parent or carer, it can sometimes be difficult to make time to play with your children, or to find the energy! When it comes to playing with your child, think quality over quantity. Just five minutes of uninterrupted, quality play together can mean the world to your child and contribute positively to their development and self-esteem.
Quick and easy play ideas
- Hidden in plain sight
- Scavenger hunts
- Decorate some cupcakes or buns
- Teddy bears' picnic
- Make a den
- Play hide and seek
- Play Shop keepers
- Play Restaurants
- Get creative with some wallpaper
- Dress up and put on a show
- Santa’s workshop/birthday party wrapping
Tips and tricks for quality play time
- Reflect on your own play memories
Introduce your child to games you played when you were younger. If you loved it, chances are they will too!
- Declutter, donate, rotate
Too many toys can actually leave a child feeling overwhelmed, reducing their levels of concentration, creativity and imagination. Try rotating toys weekly for better quality play experiences.
- Child-led play is the best type of play
Give your children the time, space and permission to play in whatever way they want to, allowing them to make mess, make noise and have FUN!
- Allow your children to be bored
Try to avoid pre-planning extra-curricular activities through fear of your child being ‘bored’. Boredom stimulates creativity, imagination and allows opportunities for children to discover their own interests.
- Open-ended resources
Children don’t just play with manufactured toys, they love random household objects too. Provide your child with a range of natural, open-ended resources and they are sure not to be bored for long.
Have a look at our Play Matters - Playing with stuff around the home (loose parts) information sheet for further ideas on open-ended resources.