Parents and caring adults make such a difference in children’s lives in so many ways. Two incredibly important ways that we can connect with our children are through talking to them and playing with them.
When you sing a lullaby to your baby, ask your toddler about what she sees out of the car window, talk to your preschooler about her favorite animal, have a conversation with your 5th grader about what she learned in school, or listen to your teenager’s opinions on who is the best singer, you are bonding with your child through talk.
When you play peek-a-boo with your baby, throw a ball with your toddler, cook with your preschooler, play a board game with your 2nd grader, or shoot some hoops with your teenager, you are bonding with your child through play.
Talking and playing are two ways that you can nurture and connect with your children. Even just spending 10 minutes every day with your child, talking and playing with them, can make a difference in your child’s life. When your child is going through a tough time, those special moments with you are even more important.
We have developed a Talk+Play=Connect Toolkit for Families with information about talking and playing with children. We have included information about the importance of talking and playing with children, times to connect (focusing on mornings, mealtimes, and bedtime), and book recommendations for you and your kids. We also have tip sheets for every stage: baby, toddler, preschooler, school-age, and teenager. These age-specific tip sheets have one page with talking tips and a few general playing ideas and a second page with many activities for you to try with your child in the morning, at mealtimes, and at bedtime.
Inside the Talk+Play=Connect Toolkit for Families:
- General Information
- Talk+Play=Connect Introduction
- Why Talking to Your Kids Is So Important
- Children Learn Through Their Play
- Times to Connect
- Reading List for Parents and Children
- Talk+Play=Connect Tip Sheets by Child’s Age
You can download the entire Talk+Play=Connect Toolkit for Families below in English, Spanish, or Russian – print and share the entire toolkit or just print the pages that interest you or that apply to your child’s developmental stage.