Playing with children is important for a number of reasons. Beginning with the personal reasons first, it makes adults feel and often behave in a childlike manner. There is nothing better than feeling and acting like a joyous child. Playing with a child requires that we use our imagination. Imagination goes hand-in-hand with creativity. Creativity is what makes most experiences more interesting and child's play joyous.
It is in our imagination and our dreams that reality becomes understandable.
As babies we all enter this world as a bundle of sensations. Sensations, will in time, be connected to our emotions. When we begin this journey from birth to an adult human being, we only know what we like and dislike. What we like is feeling comfortable, not too full and certainly not hungry. We like our diaper to be fresh and we prefer to be rested. These feelings are associated in time with what is going on around us.
In the beginning most of what's going on around us doesn't make any sense, yet. Our first understanding of experience comes in the form of imagination. Therefore, play, and in particular imaginative play, is how we make sense of how the world functions.
Question: What can we do to make it easier for children to make sense of the world?
Answer: Play with them! The more we play with our children and grandchildren the more we have the opportunity to teach them about reality and how to safely interact with the world.
Kids Town PlayMats makes the process of playing with children just a little easier. Teaching a child about crosswalks is much easier if they've learned about crosswalks while playing with pretend toys. Teaching about the rules of riding a tricycle or bicycle are much easier if they have first experienced it in their imagination. What better way to learn to look both ways than having your toy car at a railroad crossing, checking for trains.
It's much easier to learn something when one imagines engaging in the activity many times before trying it in the real world. This is a much studied truth of adult learning and a truth of our children's learning.