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How should I play with my child?
Q: I’d really like to play with my child more, but as silly as it may sound, I feel like I’ve forgotten how. Can you give me some pointers on how to start?
A: Yes, I can give you some pointers. This isn't as hard as you may think. One pointer is to just follow your child's lead. My granddaughter was colouring the other day while she was visiting with me. She asked me to colour with her. So I got down on the floor and we began to talk about which picture to colour and what colours I should use. She loved this.

Here are some other ideas:
  • Try using your imagination. While reading a story or watching a children's video together, start pretending and talking about what your child would do if she were the main character in the story. This can be a lot of fun for a preschooler.

  • Watch more experienced parents. Invite yourself over and be open about how you are looking for ideas and ask if you can watch.

  • Since most day care centres and nursery schools don't mind if you visit, you might get some more ideas on having fun by observing the teachers and staff interact with the children.

  • Browse through a toy store. Find one or two age-appropriate games or toys for your child that you know you could really enjoy playing. For example, kids love telephones or walkie-talkies that really work. Car racing sets can be fun; so can a dollhouse with all sorts of furniture. By the way, Fisher-Price's web site has tons of toys on display that might give you even more ideas on how to play with your child.

  • To have fun with a child, it helps if you're having fun as an adult. If you want to try getting more in touch with the child within you, go bike riding! Try sledding and roller skating. Find some ways to let loose and play as an adult. You'll soon be more relaxed, and playing with your child will come naturally.