Play time? What play time?

Friday, May 30, 2014


Here's a confession: Before I became a mother, I had the mentality that I will not buy toys for my children because they are a waste of money and they lose interest on it so fast!

Besides, I always pride myself that I grew up with very minimal toys because I am always at some enrichment classes, hahaha. *sheepish grin*

Nian, on the other hand, has an entirely different childhood from me. He doesn't study much, he has tonnes of toys at home, albeit not the crazy expensive kind, mostly are little race cars and Lego (ok, that's kinda expensive) and he would ride this really huuuuge BMX bicycle around the estate.

He also had a remarkable collection of tamagotchis and digimons
I heard from my mother-in-law that the bicycle was so huge, he couldn't even place his foot on the ground when he sat on the seat so how he would mount on the bike would be to lean it against those stone stools you see at the void deck, climb onto the stool and then sit on the bike. :O

Boys.


He would also catch fighting spiders (which I've never caught one in my life, bless me), shoot marbles, play block catching... I'd say he had a very enriching childhood and he would always laugh at me for being the goody girl, playing hopscotch in school at the very most.

Because of this difference in growing up, ever since we decide to get married and have kids, he has been convincing me that toys and play time are essential to a child's development.

Let's define playtime then.

Given the advancement of science, play time has since evolved from our skipping rope, hopskotch, catch spiders era to iPads, computers.. basically everything digital.

In order for our child to benefit most, I am talking about playtime where it involves movement, being outdoors and experiencing new environment.

1. Play time improves psychomotor skills

Psychomotor skills sounds like an easy term for anything that is movement related, but do you know that the older you get, the harder it is to train your psychomotor skills?

Apart from involving just plain movements, it is also a determination on your dexterity, strength and speed. By encouraging proper play time, it helps the body to improve its motor cortex and over time, it gets better and better.

Ever wonder why some children can run faster, jump further or have a better sense of balance as compared to other kids? They are most likely exposed to quality play time at a young age. Now, put that iPad away and let's go have some fun!

2. Play time improves imagination


Whenever I play with Dylan, I realized that children his age are bursting with imagination. Everything becomes a possibility and it is only through play time that he gets to exhibit these thoughts!

For example, here's him using one of his toys as a cap. He thinks its so funny, he burst out laughing on his own before I could understand what was going on lol.


This is a car repair complex build together by Dylan and his daddy. Sometimes, the same thing becomes a birthday cake and other times, it becomes an aeroplane!

3. Play time encourages character growth

One thing I have experienced is a stark difference between a child playing by himself and one who plays in a group. He not only learns how to share his belongings, he also learns to understand how is taking turns like and learns to be more patient as he waits for his turn.

Apart from that, children who play in a group also display better team work and generally has a higher EQ as compared to a child who constantly made to play alone.


4. Play time encourages speech improvement and overall general knowledge

When quality play time is ensued, you will be amazed that children pick up a lot of new words from the things they see, feel and do. For example, instead of looking at a picture card of a snail, let him see an actual snail and teach him! He will not only learn a new noun, he will also learn to observe the characteristics of the animal and understand other relative words better.

Let's say for snail, he not only learns the word "snail", but he will learn accompanying words like "slow" (which we will move very slowly to illustrate the meaning of slow) and some other fun facts that you'd like to tell him, like the shell is the snail's home etc.

We would also touch the snail gently and watch it squirm into its shell. Cause and effect. Touch a mimosa and its leaves will close. When you touch a millipede it will curl into a ball. It's teaching and play time all incorporated together that makes everything fun and memorable!

How long should play time be?

Generally for us, we set outdoor play time to be about an hour - 45 minutes of walking around to explore interesting things. Dylan has so far seen a bird's nest, running around the field looking for mimosa and touching them, watching a millipede crawl, staring at the Swallowtail Moth, picking flowers that dropped on the floor, watching ants run from one end to another and more.

We will spend the next 15 minutes playing at a playground with other children before going home for a shower.

At home, we spend about 30 minutes playing with him, like Lego, read him a book, draw etc and the next 15 minutes or so letting him play by himself. In school, he spends many many hours playing with his classmates so I guess no play time is too much for a child!


When you're having play time sessions, especially outdoor sessions with your child, maybe you should consider having him wearing Pampers Baby Dry.


The Pampers Baby Dry is able to keep a child dry and fresh for up to 12 hours, so you won't need to worry about having interrupted play time where you have to suddenly rush him home because of a leaking diaper. It also fits very well, so you won't have to worry about bunching and having painful impression marks on your baby's delicate skin while he enjoys himself at the playground.

If you'd like to check out more parenting tips and find out more about Pampers Baby Dry, do check out their website!

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