Invitations to Play

Did you know that play has it’s own neural circuitry and that when children feel safely connected to others, the circuitry of play is naturally activated? Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp describes play as one of the major brain sources of joy; it can help children (and adults) heal from painful experiences and develop self-regulation and empathy. Also, we’re wired to connect, and shared joy strengthens bonds so the next time you feel like you are “just playing” with your baby, toddler, or older children you are doing so much more than that. While I play cars, build lego and the usual games of peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek with my boys, I also set up invitations to play in our home, these help me to manage my time and ensure dinner gets on the table at a reasonable time while also encouraging their capacity for independent play. I leave the choice to engage in an activity and the how an activity is completed up to my boy’s imaginations. In July, I’ll be sharing some of the activities they’ve loved here.