Call for parents, teachers to encourage children to ‘play better’

Educational psychologist Sinovuyo Arosi. | SUPPLIED

Educational psychologist Sinovuyo Arosi. | SUPPLIED

Published Mar 2, 2024


Durban — Educational psychologist Sinovuyo Arosi urged teachers and parents to encourage positive play at school and in homes because it had a big impact on children’s development into healthy adults.

The Play Better Campaign seeks to support the development of children by enabling child-directed positive play. With a focus on promoting psychological well-being and development, the Sasko Siyasizana Initiative aims to address all aspects of children’s growth.

Arosi said research had shown that children who play were healthier and better prepared for adult life. Positive play enhanced cognitive, social, physical, and emotional development, as well as the aesthetic appreciation of the world and its cultures.

“By promoting these benefits, the Play Better Campaign ensures that children become resilient and healthy adults. Language and problem-solving skills developed during play are crucial for subjects like reading, writing and maths. That’s why it’s imperative to support and encourage positive play in children, and the Play Better Campaign is doing that,” she said.

Parents and teachers could encourage kids to play at home and school through open dialogue. She said “better” meant safe, free, child-led and creative play and had nothing to do with buying certain toys or going to a certain place to play.

“Playing is like a language that comes intuitively to children. I hope parents and teachers will begin to see positive play as an important part of their parenting and teaching.

“I want to encourage parents to dedicate a time during the week to play with their children and allow themselves to be immersed in their child’s imagination through child-directed play.

“I also urge teachers to participate in children’s play with curiosity and see how this can enhance the relationship they have with their pupils,” she said.

Arosi said mental health could be thought of as a buffer or a lens from which children viewed and interacted with the world and those around them.

Independent on Saturday