Dads at Play

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

From birth to preschool, much of a child’s learning is achieved through play.

Play isn’t just about having fun, according to Ngala – Parenting with confidence, playing with your baby is one of the best ways you can get to know each other and for your baby to learn about themselves and the world in which they live.

Playing with children, helps to build their imagination, promotes social skills, assists physical development and helps them to understand emotions. And when it comes to play, the role of a father is crucial in providing a child with a safe, secure and stable environment to develop.

At Playgroup SA, we believe that children learn best through play and support the idea of both parents: mothers and fathers, being involved in the play experience of Playgroup. We recently spoke with father of two and Playgroup SA Board member, Damian Pulgies about his experience as a father at Playgroup.

It’s true, one of the best ways that a father can bond with their child is through play. And the best thing a father can do is take on their role in play right from the start. 

As a conscientious father, and volunteer Board Member of Playgroup SA, I am aware of the importance of children learning through quality play experiences. The early years of life are so important in setting up children for success and for positively contributing to society.

With this in mind, I have on many occasions, taken my children (Kimberly 3 and Finn 16 months) to our local Playgroup, at Netley Kindergarten. I’ve found that Playgroup provides a great environment for play and really supports my children’s learning. Learning is a lifelong journey. It is important to create a foundation and environment for learning to flourish from an early age. I really enjoy the experience of seeing my children having fun and exploring at Playgroup. There are so many things DADS AT PLAY to do from painting, participating in craft and joining in with song and dance, to trampolining, balancing on tyres, visiting the chickens, and touching and smelling a variety of plants. And the best thing is I get to do all of this with them.

My most memorable experience at Playgroup so far, was seeing my daughter Kimberly paint using an easel for the first time. It was such a pleasure to see how proud and happy she was with the outcome (and being able to use her favourite colour purple, of course!) Seeing my son Finn smiling, laughing and dancing with the other children during music time is always a delight. Netley Playgroup attracts a number of local parents and caregivers. There is often at least one other father who attends regularly. I have enjoyed developing a sense of connectedness to the other parents and caregivers through sharing experiences. I believe it is not enough to show your love to your family by just working hard and long hours. I see my role, as an active father, to partner with my children so they develop to their full potential – intellectually, emotionally and physically. Attending Playgroup is a key part of this connection. I see this as a positive influence on my relationship with my children and we always look forward to going to Playgroup.

This article was originally published in State of Play, Issue Two, September 2016

Reference: Ngala parenting with confidence