To say Mr. L likes car would be an understatement, he LOVES cars! Big, small, new, old, it doesn’t matter, he loves them all!
Being almost 4, he has quite the collection! One of his favourite things to do with them is to create a traffic jam using the various tracks we have.
Usually we start with one track. We create it, we play with it for a bit, then he has an idea to create a traffic jam with them. So we pull out the car bucket and start lining them up on the track. It isn’t too long before we run out of room, and need to go looking for another track.
Then we build that track, and add cars until its full before looking for another one. Together we talk about what to do next and how to create the longest traffic jam we can using the materials that we have.
Now, there was definitely other things I could have been doing; laundry, dishes, cleaning, work, etc. Our to-do list as parents, and as mothers in particular is a mile long and then some. But, when we take the time to play with our children we can teach them valuable lessons:
1) Cars come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. By getting down with Mr. L and talking to him while we played we were able to discuss these attributes of the cars. A child’s language development improves every time they learn a new word, phrase, etc. By playing with them and discussing different attributes we are able to add to their vocabulary word bank.
2) The tracks were all different. We used a Duplo track, Hot Wheels track, and a Tonka track during our adventure. We needed to work together to figure out what track to use next and how to make it appear like one solid line up of cars. We worked on problem solving, an important skill for children to develop. By developing it in a play setting, we eliminate the stress that comes in a real life setting. When children are given opportunities to work on problem solving skills in a loving, and playful environment, they are more likely to be able to use those skills in a time of frustration.
3) Turn taking is a super important social development skill. Something that is not always easy. Sometimes Mr. L would put cars on the track, sometimes I would put cars on the track. We took turns while we worked and played to create our traffic jam.
4) Children love to spend time with those they love. Can we spend every minute of every day with them? Unfortunately we can’t. But when we make time in our day to sit and be with them, they feel the love that we have for them. Our total playtime was roughly half an hour, maybe 45 minutes.
How will you play with your child this week?