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The Power of Play

KaZoing! Play Program

Positive play is essential to happy, healthy kids. When play is guided or structured, the benefits can be even greater. We believe in the importance of shared playtime between the parent and child. KaZoing! Play provides a safe, clean and fun place where children develop motor skills, social skills and self-confidence while also strengthening the parenting bond. Play sessions are held in KaZoing!’s custom-designed play and learning room called the Tot Lot. The 1,500 square foot Tot Lot is designed for fun, but with parents’ needs in mind. For instance, padded foam-backed carpet protects new walkers from falls. We’ve arranged the toys and activities in the room so the kids separate naturally based on their ability level. Soft padded floors, soft tunnels, safe climbing structures, trains and a “life size” doll village will keep children excited but not overwhelmed. Benches are available for parents around the perimeter so mom or dad can sit and relax while keeping a close eye on their child.

Experts and parents know that the fundamental keys to child development, learning and success in school and life begin well before our formal education. And what seems to most adults as simple playground games, are really the building blocks to important life skills, like problem solving. Recent research also tells us that:

“Early childhood education begins the moment a child is born. …experience in the first three years of life has a powerful influence on life-long development and learning. …we now know that early experience not only has a psychological impact on development. It also has a physical impact on the neural pathways that allow a child to understand and process information effectively and to manage emotion.”

– Task Force on Children’s Learning and the Arts

Play fuels all aspects of healthy development.

Running, kicking and throwing balls helps children develop balance and coordination. Singing and rhyming games help with language development. Puzzles and problem solving games help children’s intellectual development. Turn taking and sharing in play help develop important relationship skills and self-control. Play is an important way that children can express and work through their feelings. Through watching and joining in children’s play, you can gain insight into how your child is feeling and thinking.

Parents play a crucial role in children’s play

Joining in play builds positive relationships between you and your children in a climate of fun. Playing with your children promotes opportunities for you to support them as they experiment with new skills. The most positive reinforcement for children comes from the approval and praise of a parent. The most important play for young children is play with parents – make sure you make some time for play every day.

Playing with children

Playing activities should be at the right level for your child. Too easy and your child may get bored. Too hard and your child may get frustrated. Let your child lead the play. Don’t take over. Make sure the play is safe. Ask your children what they would like you to do as part of the play. Allow enough time for play.

Don’t compete with young children. This can discourage them from wanting to play. Be patient if your child wants to repeat the same play over and over. New skills require lots of practice! Stay enthusiastic.

Appreciate and encourage their efforts, no matter what the outcome. Look for opportunities to engage in play at any time. For example, join your child in making up rhymes or songs about normal daily activities like making the bed. Most of all have fun and laugh with your children.

– Australian Childhood Foundation