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"Play with me!!"

Play Play Play …. Mommy will you play with me? The dreaded question that so often felt so heavy and tiresome has transformed into something that builds our relationship. Join us for a 7 day PLAY challenge. To get you started here are some awesome and interesting facts about play and why it's important. (adapted from “The Art of Roughhousing, by Anthony T DeBenedet and Lawrence Cohen)

Facts about Play

  • active physical play (think roughhousing) helps children's brains, develops emotional intelligence and helps them be more loveable, likeable, ethical, and joyful.

  • Play is powerful and stimulates neuron growth as well as brain-cell connections -- so in other words it builds intelligence!

  • Roughhousing and any physical active type play can help a child's brain to better understand unpredictability, enhance more flexible behavior and increase their capacity to learn!! I mean -- why do you think that every kids favorite part of school day is recess?

  • Emotional intelligence relies on the ability to regulate one's own emotions in the face of others emotions and to accurately read the emotions of others. Play is an excellent way to be able to aid this development.

  • The practice of roughhousing allows children to revv up and then to calm down. This helps them to experience and learn how to regulate strong emotions.

  • It also teaches so much about nonverbal communication in regards to emotions.

  • Play activates all different parts of the brain. Active physical play activates the amygdala (emotional part of the brain, the cerebellum (complex motor control), and the prefrontal cortex (high level thinking/judgement). It's a massive boost to the development of a child. A chemical called ‘brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is also released in our brains during this type of play. It's basically brain fertilizer and who doesn't want that?

So get out there and join us in a week of playful connecting with your kids from April 5-11, 2021.

Each day we’ll challenge you to use a specific game for at least 10 minutes (or more) with your child(ren). Take note of what worked and went well and what didn't. It’ll also be important to ramp up your Listening Partnerships if you have them. And to engage in play yourself, doing something you enjoy and that brings laughter into your life.

Follow along @hand_in_hand_parenting or @growingoodness on Instagram and Facebook. Look for a daily post with the game and explanation, reels of examples of what it can look like in real life, and IGTV recordings about each game and how to adapt for varying ages.

It's also worth noting that oftentimes children will use play to showcase big emotions that lie hidden under the surface. That's why they’ll suddenly burst into tears, get angry, or even bite. This is because play builds connection and safety and children trust that when it's demonstrated through play they won't be shamed or scolded for the big feelings. Staying calm and welcoming our children's feelings gives them a safe and loving container for their emotions. Simply sitting and listening to the upset is the best thing we can do for them. This is all part of the process and means your child is processing emotions in a healthy way. If you find it hard, reach out for support!! I'm always here!!



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