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Does your child's dad engage in imaginary play with your kids?

Posted by on Mar. 19, 2012 at 4:46 AM
  • 9 Replies

Dads Who Play With Their Toddlers Make Them Smarter

Posted by Michele Zipp on March 16, 2012 

dad tossing kid in airSomewhere in your child's second year of life, she's going to start imaginary play. This means adults get to play make believe without anyone looking at them funny. My daughter loves to put her baby doll to bed in her play cradle. She rocks baby to sleep and then "tucky ins." I have to do the same to Elmo. My son loves reading this fruit and vegetable book we have and he "eats" and "feeds" me the deliciousness along the way complete with "that's so good!" and "yum" remarks. Kids can be really adorable, can't they?

You know what's even better than an adorable toddler? An adorable toddler who grows up to be an adorable big kid who does well in school. And it turns out that the level of dad's involvement in the little one's imaginary play can affect grades.

Listen up, dads!

Gina Cook, a research assistant professor at Utah State University’s department of family, consumer and human development, learned from her study on 299 low-income kids that a father's involvement, particularly if dad lives in the home with mom and child, can have a positive affect on grades through elementary school.

Cook said that most research looks at mom and how she interacts with her kids during play, but this time they looked at dads. The toddlers whose parents played pretend "tea party" or any imaginary type of play ended up with better grades. This was true only for dads who lived with their kids but that wasn't because if dad lived outside the home he wasn't stimulating his child's brain -- it's just that they didn't see their kids as much so the impact wasn't as great.

This doesn't have to be unfortunate news for kids whose parents are divorced, but it should just give more incentive to make sure kids get more of this type of play with mom and other family members. So this means just sitting there while your little one plays isn't enough -- we have to put on our own imagination cap and play, too.  Especially dad. And for any dad reading this, keep in mind that when you do engage in playtime with kids, it does make mom fall in love with you even more.

Does your child's dad engage in imaginary play with your kids?

by on Mar. 19, 2012 at 4:46 AM
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Replies (1-9):
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 19, 2012 at 8:47 AM
Sadly, i am limited in physical play due to my vascular disease, so DH plays w/ the kids. Generally his imagination gears their play to battles (light sabers, squirt guns, etc) or he'll play chef w/ them...

IDK, one of my pet peeves w/ DH is his weird play w/ Lego's. He wants to follow the instructions and build the set the way it was designed. Whereas the kids would rather add the legos to their bucket of legos and build whatever strikes their fancy...sigh..DH will follow the directions then get upset if the kids dismantle whatever he built. Lol...usually I am the anal one!
Boobah
by Nikki :) on Mar. 19, 2012 at 8:48 AM
1 mom liked this
Dh is awesome at playing with the girls :) I couldn't have "picked" a better daddy.
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bugayfamilyof4
by Member on Mar. 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Same here best daddy ever to my children. They love the don't touch the floor because of lava game !!!!

SuperMommy408
by Tamara on Mar. 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Yes he's very good at playing with the girls :)
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usmom3
by BJ on Mar. 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM

 Yes he dose & he dose art with them too!

mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 19, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Yes, Rob plays with them but in a guy way. LOL

wowguildmomma
by Member on Mar. 20, 2012 at 12:15 AM

light saber battles, nerf gun geography plus we are a LARP family. so it gets really interesting around here

1Redapple
by on Mar. 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Amen to it makes mom fall in love with daddy even more. This info must be shared with the world! 

Two years old was a long time ago for all my kids, but I can picture them playing with daddy. They love him a lot.

lovepotato
by Member on Mar. 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

My dad wasn't really in the picture when I was little, so I purposely picked a guy who was great with little kids. Seriously, he's awesome. He could get a room full of elementary age kids to do exactly what he wanted them to, which was usually play a game he made up. Kids love him.

He plays with our kids all the time. When he gets home, the kids jump on him and play, and he usually lets me have some time to myself. They love playing with their daddy and he loves playing with them.

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