Parent Playfulness

A recent OT Student at OTFC, Julia M, undertook her Honours research project on Playfulness in Parents, and the positive effects of playful parents on a child’s development. Julia was kind enough to provide a summarised version of some of the information discovered during the project. The information is relevant to all parents and highlights the importance of positive and playful relationships with your child.

We know that PLAY helps children to develop:

• Creativity
• Flexibility
• Motivation
• Morality
• Skills to master their environment
• Social, emotional and physical skills
• Social attitudes
• Problem solving skills
• Coping skills

But did you know PLAYFUL ADULTS have been shown to have:

  • Higher levels of wellbeing, spontaneity, humour and creativity
  • Reduced anxiety, stress & depression
  • Enhanced coping mechanisms
  • A better ability to face adversity and failure & find original solutions to problems
  • A better ability to approach situations more openly!


  • We know that the home environment and parent-child interactions are important for children in developing playfulness
  • During the early years, the parent’s role is crucial in providing a supportive physical and social environment that encourages playfulness
  • The child must feel safe and secure in order to engage in play, and the parent’s role is to provide the child with opportunities to exhibit playfulness

Spending time with your child beingplayful will not only serve to enhance their play but you will feel great too! Remember… above all, children love spending time with YOU! Often it is the SIMPLE THINGS that children love the most! Try some of these ideas today!


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