Most parents are very controlling of their kids when it comes to playing. Understandably, there’s always that possibility that your kids can hurt themselves while they are playing. But playtime is essential to your kid’s proper growth and development. So instead of telling them to stay still, create a safe space for your kids to enjoy.
In this blog post, we will discuss what it means to play for kids and why parents should allow them some time to enjoy themselves. We will also look into the best portable play yard to help you create a safe space for your little one.
The Different Phases of Play
Just like learning new skills, like grabbing a bottle or learning to sit up, playing is also something kids learn over time. You can’t expect your kids to play with you, their siblings, or someone else at once. At first, they will prefer to sit and enjoy their toys alone.
Here are the different phases of play throughout their growth and development.
Unoccupied play usually happens in the first three months. In this phase, kids learn to play through their senses. Since they are still unable to walk, they use their hands to reach out for things and feel new sensations.
Whether it is reaching for your hands or for toys with colorful patterns, these textures and patterns they can see or touch are something they will enjoy.
In this phase, your kids will start playing independently without regard for anyone around them. During this time, you may find your toddler playing quietly in their crib, lining up their toys, and even dancing alone when hearing music.
Independent play is perfectly normal for children. The concept of sharing toys and mingling with other people is still new to your kids and will be a learning process for them. Your kids may look at other groups of children while playing, but they will not jump in. Let your kids observe: they will join in the group when they feel ready.
During parallel play, your kids will be more comfortable playing alongside other kids but not necessarily playing with the group. Your kids will get excited by the sound of laughter and the energy from playing, which will attract them to the group eventually.
When you see your kids mimicking the play of a group, it’s okay to give them a little encouragement to move forward. But don’t push them too far. Instead, you can do the same play with them. It will get easier to play with others if kids experience it with the people they are comfortable with.
The most ideal type of play is cooperative play. After a lot of time observing and practicing communication, cooperative play is a big milestone for your kids. This is also the type of play you should let your kids enjoy.
Through cooperative play, children will learn skills they can bring as they grow up and apply them in different situations.
Why Is Cooperative Play Important?
Seeing your kids play with other children is a happy moment for parents. But aside from giving them time to enjoy, there are many life skills your kids can learn through cooperative playing. Here are some of them.
Building Good Communication
When your kids play with other children, it allows them to express what they want and listen to what others say. This process of communication with others is also something your kids can apply at home. Many children have difficulty communicating with their parents, which is important in building familial relationships.
When your kids can communicate effectively in a group, they will most likely do the same with you.
Resolving a Misunderstanding
When your kids play with other children, you can expect that there will be times when they will not come to terms with one another. Naturally, there will be a lot of crying and tantrums, but this is also a good opportunity for your kids to brainstorm what they should do in this situation.
Encourage your children to come up with compromises that will satisfy both parties. Of course, as parents, you may present them with choices. But ultimately, allow the kids to make a decision. This skill will surely come in handy as they build more relationships when they grow up.
Trusting and Cooperating
It’s normal for toddlers to do things the way they want to. However, through cooperative play, you kids will learn that not all things will go their way. Even in simple play time, your kids will make up rules to go by.
When kids follow their rules, they learn how to work with others. Playing along and knowing that other children will abide by following their rules is an indication of trust.
Creating a Safe Space with a Baby Playpen
As your kids go through the different stages of playing, making a play area where they are secure—whether you’re in an activity center, outdoors, or inside the house—is a must. A playpen is an excellent method to provide your children independence while still keeping them safe.
There are different playpens in the marketplace. But which product is most worth your money? Here are some considerations to look for when buying a baby play yard.
Always prioritize safety when buying baby gear. For example, the purpose of a playpen is to put your kids in an enclosed space so they don’t wander around without supervision. Ensure the play fence is high enough so they can’t go over, and if possible, it should have a baby gate that you can lock to ensure your kids stay in the play area.
You have two choices when buying a playpen for your kids. There are play yards you can set up in one place, and there are portable baby play yards that are foldable and easy to carry wherever you need them. However, heavy-duty playpens are better for you if you want a more permanent play area for your kids at home.
But a portable playpen is a better choice if you go on frequent play dates outside or take your kids to see their friends. Moreover, portable playpens are perfect for houses with small spaces. You can fold them and fit them in tight spaces when they are not in use.
There are multi-purpose playpens that have different attachments to increase their functionality. For example, there are play yards with wheels, so parents can easily move them to any place in the house to monitor their kids while they attend to other tasks.
Some playpens include a canopy for outdoor use when you want to protect your kids from the sun. There are also baby play yards where you can attach a bassinet so your kids can rest. Consider the different attachments and look for the one suited to your kid’s needs.
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Ashtonbee’s Playpen Activity Center
If you can’t narrow down your options for the playpen you want to get for your kids, you may want to consider Ashtonbee’s playpen for toddlers. Ashtonbee offers a wide range of high-quality baby products that are perfect for parents and kids.
Here are some features of Ashtonbee’s playpen for kids.
- It comes with 16 pieces of adjustable panels so you can create a safe play space for your kids.
- The playpen has a safety lock to ensure your kids can’t leave the play area without permission.
- The playpen has a vibrant design with fun interactive shapes which your kids will enjoy.
- The play activity center is easy to set up and is compatible with indoor and outdoor use.
Don’t underestimate the power of play in your kid’s growth and development. Aside from the needed physical activity, playing can teach your kids life skills they can bring as they grow up. So let your kids enjoy their playtime while they still have the energy for it. Also, make time to play with your kids!
If you’re looking for more high-quality baby gear like portable toddler play yards, play mats, feeding tools, and safety accessories, don’t forget to browse our shop for your parenting needs.