As kids play, they are learning important skills that will set them up for the rest of their lives. Interpersonal relationships, problem-solving, and leadership are just a few of the skills they develop on the playground.
Benefits of Age-Inclusive Play
Having children interact with others of various ages helps encourage meaningful development for everyone. For older children, playing with younger peers helps them learn responsibility, empathy, and how to be a good role model. Younger children gain courage and learn how to cooperate with those they view as leaders who aren’t their parents. Teamwork takes on new meaning with varied age groups because the dynamic tends to be different. Plus, there are more opportunities for fun and games since everyone brings something different to the table.
One of the easiest ways to facilitate age-inclusive play is outside, on the playground or playsets. Here are some tips to help with encouraging play with different age groups.
Make Expectations Clear
Adults should communicate different expectations to the children involved. For instance, older children might be given leadership roles and responsibilities for youngsters. Younger children can be told that they should respond to older kids as though they are in charge. Everyone should respect each other’s boundaries and be mindful of safety.
Facilitate Different Types of Play
To inspire teamwork, sharing, and curiosity, offer different games and crafts. If kids are getting cranky during free play, start a game of hide and seek. To help wind down, provide tools for outdoor arts and crafts.
Praise and Encourage
As children are learning all those different skills and relationships, adults can let them know when they’re doing things right. Give lots of praise to kids to help provide positive reinforcement.
Need to get started with an outdoor playset or playground for all that fun? Contact Idaho Outdoor Solutions today!