A Season of Togetherness
As a global company, we enjoy and respect holiday traditions everywhere. But no matter where we go, we’ve found one unifying idea that bridges cultures across the world: the joy of simply being together.
Sharing fun and laughter is universal among all families, and playtime is a central part of creating fond memories. We know that cooperative play works particularly well to bring people – especially children - together, bond parents and peers, and nurture a sense of teamwork and togetherness.
The Role of Play
Toys and games - especially those encouraging imaginative roleplay - do wonders for helping to bring kids together and transform their world into anything they can dream up. For children, the act of playing together nurtures social and emotional intelligence. When parents and children play together, the effect is markedly increased.
A study published by Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) sheds some light on the benefits of playing together. According to the study, interactive play helps children form long-lasting bonds between their playmates. Further, play between parents or caretakers and their children helps kids gain confidence and reassurance.
The study further asserts that, “Fathers and mothers each play differently with their children and each contributes to the child’s language, cognitive and social development.” In other words, the more the merrier – and the greater the benefit.
Toys to Bring Families Together
Our dollhouses help children discover and explore the importance of domestic harmony. In their little world, toy families divvy up chores, support one another and sort out realistic (or unrealistic) social decisions and activities. This allows children the chance to consider facets of real life that parents might forget to address. The dolls’ interactions help cultivate empathy.
When an additional playmate is introduced, the decision-making and support become real as the players reach consensus decisions and exercise their social, cognitive and decision-making skills. Social harmony is nurtured this way, and bonds of friendship are formed.
Large-format play kitchens offer the same kind of benefits. But rather than guiding dolls through situations, the players themselves take on the role of chef, homemaker, entrepreneur, hungry person, or whatever they can dream up. They put themselves in the shoes of other people and experience imaginative situations firsthand.
When playing together in a play kitchen, children must also determine duties. Large kitchens with multiple play areas – such as an oven and a sink, or a washer and a cooktop – encourage role determination, responsibility and a feeling of importance.
Playtime – especially among playmates – is an important part of growing up, learning social skills and problem-solving skills and helps form peer bonds.
The point of all this is, there’s simply nothing quite like having fun with those you love. And there’s no time like the holidays to come together, celebrate precious memories and create new ones.
So wherever you live and however you celebrate, KidKraft wishes you and your loved ones a happy, happy holiday season.
TIE’s study of Play in Children’s Development, Health and Well-being