Great Reasons to Say “Let’s Play”

Mentee playing with blocksEnjoying a game or entertaining activity with your mentee is a wonderful way to connect.  Not only that, but also…

~Play encourages communication
~Play is learning
~Play gives children a choice
~Play teaches patience and understanding
~Play can build confidence and competence
~Play is fun

Through “play” we learn about each other. As communication happens verbally, through facial expressions, laughter and body language, we become familiar with one another. We share our creativity, authenticity, and our sense of wonder. Trust is built through the balance, the give and-take, of a game completed. The relaxing nature of play can sometimes help a child share thoughts more freely.

Mentee playing chessFacilitating “play” also teaches valuable skills. Play can be a diversion for our mentees, giving them a reprieve from stress, thus practicing a healthy coping skill. Play can be a way to provide coaching through learning problem solving or memory skills while putting together a puzzle.

Through play, a mentor role-models authenticity, the sharing of self, and how to share an opinion. Other benefits include increased attention span, language development, and social skills.

Sometimes vintage games can be great choices.  Click here to review activities that, for example, have you and your mentee trotting the globe, getting to know each other better with a cootie-catcher, expressing yourselves through mod-podge and appreciating the art of War.

~Seedling Mentor Program Staff

This entry was posted in Children in Poverty, Children of Incarcerated Parents, Mentoring, Site-Based Mentoring and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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