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So much incredible advice and information to unpack from THIS terrific report about the importance of play! As occupational therapists who focus on play-based therapy techniques, we want to shout the findings of playful parenting revealed here from our rooftop. Maybe that would be a little much… instead we’ll start by sharing it with our readers and ask that you reshare it with other parents, caregivers, and educators in your lives.

While this article dives deeply into the bond formed during a child’s early years, the importance of playing with your kids is something they don’t outgrow. It’s never too late to begin relating to your child on a deeper level through play-based, age-appropriate activities. We often discuss this topic with parents at Zier Institute. Building a strong parent/child connection occurs throughout childhood and into adulthood. Being open to new parenting philosophies and trying different approaches to connect with your child, at any age, matters more than doing everything perfectly from the beginning. No one should try to live up to that standard, we’re human after all!

“There is a wealth of evidence which shows that secure attachment and adequate bonding with a parent is important for a child’s emotional wellbeing, including stress and anxiety reduction. This sense of safety and trust can be built through consistent positive interactions, such as play experiences. Play can be a fantastic opportunity for a parent and child to get to know each other’s emotional cues, adding to a feeling of familiarity and warmth.”

Understanding that playtime with children isn’t about the action itself but the connection it creates is critical information for all parents. A lot of healing can happen over a cup of imaginary tea, during family game night or while shooting hoops in the driveway. Video games? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em – every interaction counts!