Play is the Thing – Don't Forget to Have Some Fun

Audrey ThumbnailAs we rush around in our busy lives, it’s important to remember to play. If you need inspiration, check out this TED Talk about the importance of play by Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play (NIFP):

According to Brown, “nothing lights up the brain like play,” and “play has a biological place just like sleep and dream do.”

According to the NIFP, there are 7 patterns of play:

Each type of play has an important function, but most relevant to the Connected Parenting model is attunement play, which seems to roughly correlate to the “baby play” or “connected play” discussed in the Connected Parenting book. This is what the NIFP has to say about attunement play:

“When an infant makes eye contact with her mother, each experiences a spontaneous surge of emotion (joy). The baby responds with a radiant smile, the mother with her own smile and rhythmic vocalizations (baby talk).  This is the grounding base of the state-of-play. It is known, through EEG and other imaging technologies, that the right cerebral cortex, which organizes emotional control is “attuned” in both infant and mother.”

As Jennifer Kolari explains in Connected Parenting, attunement/connected play continues to be important even when your child is no longer a baby. Parents can engage in connected play with older children by cuddling, looking at old baby pictures together and looking into eachother’s eyes. Check out this post to learn more about connected play.

Do you engage in attunement/connected play with your child? What is your favourite connected play activity?

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Please remember that the advice given on this blog is not meant to replace medical advice or the direct advice of a mental health care professional.
"Connected Parenting advises us not just how to parent, but—far more important—who to be as parents. The therapeutic methods suggested by Jennifer Kolari are based not on simple-minded behavioural solutions, but on building warm, nurturing relationships with our children, with insight and compassion not only for their little flaws, but also for our own larger ones."
—Gabor Maté, M.D.

"A must read for parents, educators, and any other adults who want to connect in a deeply caring and positive way with the children in their lives."
—Barbara Coloroso