There are numerous theories about the nature and meaning of the game. It is preparation for life, fun activities, the child’s experimentation and learning, gaining control over one’s own life. Game is a common name that encompasses complete unfettered ness and ease, as well as structurally much more organized approaches, with rules and regulations that are the essence of social games.
From birth to the age of seven, play is vital. It is both the basis of the child’s future well-being and the foundation of his intellectual, social and physical development. The child instinctively knows what needs to be developed and does so enthusiastically and wholeheartedly through play.
At the same time, parental support is very important, because it provides parents with encouragement when the child needs it, can help him expand his horizons and praise his creative efforts with a lot of love.
Exploring through play and discovering the world is all that early childhood consists of. It preoccupies the child as long as he is awake. Whether it grabs, pulls, throws, tries or watches, it experiences its senses fully. In the first months, it may seem to us that little is happening. But, the child already then creates his meaning of the world. He imitates each of the skills by imitating and practicing. It is important to offer him a wide range of opportunities to help ensure a complete experience. With careful and vigilant observation, a parent can see if his child is losing interest in a certain activity and then provide him with something new, so that the process of his development is not interrupted.
One of the most important tasks of parents is to be aware of the level of development of their child and to be able to recognize when he is ready to move to another level. Every child is unique and develops in their own steps. Abilities and inclinations for different activities also differ. One of the important ways of learning is the game of imitation. As parents, we are examples to our children and we can probably count on the child to join us in the activities we do with joy. But, at the same time, one should take into account the developmental level of each child, and it is important not to expect him to get involved in something before he is ready for it.
Toys are an important part of childhood. If we watch the child carefully enough while he is playing, he will guide us and we will know what he needs. Then we will do him a real favor by supplying him with something to create, some unfinished toy that will stimulate his imagination. Toys should be as simple as possible, because in that way the child will use them more imaginatively in his game.
Research shows that babies and toddlers are not at all interested in many of the most popular commercial toys intended for their age. Behind the initial research interest that children show towards everything new, they rarely spend a lot of time on a toy that is intended to attract their age group. It has been found that an ordinary cheap beach ball provides more hours of enjoyment than, for example, a plastic didactic activity board. Each rolling or throwing of the ball is different from the previous one and that is why it constantly intrigues the child’s attention and gives him space for further learning.
Toys made at home, whether made by an adult or a child and grown up together, are essential ingredients of creative play in childhood. Every home has a large range of reusable materials that can be used. Cardboard and plastic packaging, wool, scraps of fabric, pieces of paper – all have their purpose. The list is almost endless. Some homework items are good to use just as they already are, and others can be adapted to teach certain developmental skills. In doing so, it is important to take care of safety measures.