Our phones are ringing off the hook because Dr. Greene mentioned a great game his family just played together. The game is Quelf and according to Dr. Greene, “We play games as a family, and we laugh as a family, but I can’t remember the whole family ever laughing that hard while playing a game!”
Toys are powerful tools. Nevertheless, don’t be lulled into the misconception that more is better. More toys, more lights, more sounds, and more money do not make for a happier or healthier child.
Many studies have shown that even the most deprived environments are full of opportunities for play. If the toys are versatile, and someone is willing to play along, children with fewer toys will often experience even more delight and creativity.
Children need safety, freedom, loving attention, and praise. Most parents have had the experience of giving their child expensive gifts, only to find the child more interested in the wrapping, the box, or some little party favor. Learn from this.
Often the best toys are made from wooden spoons, cardboard boxes, tubes, pots and pans, and other safe items that he/she ‘discovers’ around the house. As you observe his/her spontaneous play, you will begin to notice the leading edge of his/her development, and you can help seed his/her environment with items that will both delight and nourish his/her growing body and mind. And don’t forget to play along with him/her.
Play is an important part of a parent’s growth as well.