Navigating Transitions with Small Children

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Albert Einstein once said that, “Play is the highest form of research.” I couldn’t agree more. When we allow little minds and little hands to create, magic happens! Children expertly use play to communicate and process many of life’s hardships, but the real key is- Are we listening?

“[For children], communication is largely non-verbal and through play. Where adults talk things out, children act them out. Therefore, in order to truly listen to children, you have to listen to their non- verbal communication and to their play.”- Jodi Ann Mullen

There are so many times that the stress of adulthood and the tasks of our daily lives interfere with the families ability to connect. So often we dread hearing “play with me,” from our children, knowing there are dinners to make, emails to send and laundry to fold. We envision hours of make believe or tedious board games. In reality, there are so many ways to have a playful connection with our child as we navigate life together. Some examples of quick play activities:

  1. Silly songs while we put on our shoes
  2. Knock-Knock Jokes on the way home from school
  3. Secret handshakes
  4. Hide and Seek for a limited amount of turns
  5. A quick race around the yard or playground before heading out
  6. Making up stories together

Play is an opportunity for connection and growth with our children. Remember, children don’t come to us and say, “I’ve had a hard day can we talk?” They say, “Will you play with me?”

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