What kids really need when playing

Online booking platform Travelcircus has summarized 15 “exciting” playgrounds for children in major German cities. Whether it’s the Jungle or Dragon Stadium in Berlin, the construction stadium in Hamburg or the Aquapark in Munich – the choice is great. The researcher and teacher in the game d. Often children’s imaginations are enough to play, says Volker Mehringer in an interview with the NDA.

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Mr. Mehringer, in the ranking of the most beautiful playgrounds in Germany, you can clearly see that the adventure courses, where something really happens, are at the top. Do kids really need this?

I think a lot of kids think it’s great when there’s a lot going on on the playground. But I’m also sure the kids can keep themselves occupied – and that doesn’t always have to come from the outside. Ideas for toys often come from the children themselves, so you should not underestimate children’s imagination. Even in rooms where there is relatively little available, children can often find great play ideas and create imaginative games. However, games can also be great sources of ideas. A stick or ball, for example, encourages a lot of play activities. Such a game can develop an incredibly motivating character. That’s why I think a certain core set of games definitely doesn’t hurt.

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Is playing outside important?

I think playing outside is very important, but it’s also important to have a balanced playing style – it’s all about balance. There are great things to play indoors – but of course they can’t take the place of playing outside. Playing outside simply provides more opportunities to move around, you are more restricted inside. Being outdoors and connecting with nature provides other opportunities to play and complements playing indoors well.

What do children need to play?

Above all, children need freedom and time to play, which is no longer a normal thing today. Targeted educational offerings start early and sooner, and as a parent you are of course afraid that children will miss the boat – usually at the expense of free play. It’s easy to overlook what a great development engine games are and what unique educational opportunities they create.

Is there a disadvantage if children have a lot of toys?

Despite hearing this over and over, there are no clear findings in the research to support that children struggle with many toys. Children can certainly pick up and choose what interests them – toys that are boring for a child are often left in the children’s room. I see a bigger problem when kids have a lot of the same toys. Games should address different aspects of gaming behaviour. There must be something that can be constructed and built, as well as equipment for social games, judgment games, and materials for crafts. If you have a large selection of games and everything is child and age appropriate, this is not so much. But if the 100th doll or the 200th puzzle is purchased, little new play value will be added. And if you can no longer step into the nursery without stepping on a toy, you should probably get rid of the clutter.

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Is it worth keeping the toys that the child has not played for a long time?

In some toys, it is clear that the child no longer wants to play with them, while it is worth trying to put them away with other toys. If you take something out of the children’s field of view, it may happen that after a month or two the game becomes interesting for the child again. If not, it’s usually not worth trying any further. You can resell the game today or give it away – it would be a shame if it ended up in the garbage.

How important is communication with other children when playing?

Communication with other children is very important. Play is the primary pastime for children until they start school, and in doing so they learn a lot from interaction with other children. Social, communication and negotiation skills as well as handling first conflicts are combined in play.

Kids often get a lot of gifts and toys on their birthday or Christmas – and they are overwhelmed by it. How do you decide which toys to give the child on vacation?

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So that the child does not stand in front of a large pile of gifts on holidays, perhaps one should think about whether one really needs to include gifts on birthdays and Christmas. There is year-round play and exciting new games run year-round. The joy of the child will be at least great if one or two new toys are added during the year – so you have the opportunity to equalize the holidays a little. As a parent, when you realize there’s a idle time when it comes to games, it might be a good idea to give it a fresh boost — and you can do that on other days of the year, too.

How much should you consider children’s wishes when it comes to gifts?

The fact that children’s wishes are often of great importance and children can be disappointed if not a single wish for a child is fulfilled by their birthday should not be underestimated. Of course, this is not easy, because gifts can quickly become very expensive. In order to fulfill the wish, I can only recommend throwing it with the whole family so that the greatest wish can be fulfilled – even if you are not always 100% convinced of the gift yourself.

Can parents learn from their children while playing?

Parents should try to take off their adult glasses every now and then and go back to their childhood. Of course you have a certain educational responsibility, but that does not mean that your play should fall by the wayside. If you, as a parent, are simply asking yourself what a child finds great at play and what is fun in it, the parents and the child can benefit from it. Adults can also have a lot of fun playing it – but we forgot that a bit.

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If you live in a small apartment or don’t want to buy a lot of toys, Volker Mehringer has a tip for you: in some German cities (almost) Berlin) There is now the possibility to borrow games as in the library. Advantage: What has become boring for a child can be easily and inexpensively replaced with another toy.

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