Home Medizin Kreative Spielsitzungen bieten eine wirkungsvolle Unterstützung für frischgebackene Eltern

Kreative Spielsitzungen bieten eine wirkungsvolle Unterstützung für frischgebackene Eltern

von NFI Redaktion

According to a new study, socially prescribed creative play helps children and their parents develop new skills and promotes well-being.

Conducted by the University of Leeds, the study evaluated a five-week program of artistic play, including singing and music making, for families with children up to the age of three. It was found that parents benefited from building social networks, sharing experiences, and learning creative parenting approaches. Families also received valuable information about their child’s developmental milestones.

The program, developed by leading children’s arts charity Theatre Hullabaloo, to address post-pandemic parental well-being concerns, is the first known socially prescribed creative play intervention for families with children of this age.

Social prescribing is an approach that allows healthcare professionals to refer people in need of help to improve their health and well-being to non-medical support such as local group activities. It can be an effective alternative to medication or other interventions.

Study author Dr. Paige E. Davis, Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at the University of Leeds School of Psychology, said: „It is usually assumed that social prescriptions are aimed at older populations. Recently, there have been efforts to facilitate different life transitions through social prescribing. The transition to parenthood has been neglected in the past despite the importance of the parent-child relationship in the first 1,001 days in terms of support offerings.“

„Our study shows that social prescriptions have benefits for both parents and children. Parents believe it enhances their well-being, giving them the opportunity to build social networks and learn new forms of creative play. Parents also perceive it enhances their child’s developmental abilities and new skills.“

Miranda Thain, Artistic Producer at Theatre Hullabaloo, said: „We see the positive impact of creative play with your little one and the confidence to employ these skills in parenting – whether it’s reading, singing, or making music – in our work with families.“ Social prescribing provides an important pathway for families who may need additional support and care to participate in programs of this kind.

„This research, demonstrating the value for parental and child well-being, is extremely important as we advocate for better investment in early childhood creativity and provide families with the tools to do their best for each other.“

The program consisted of a one-hour session that was clearly structured yet flexible. Activities included sensory and imaginative play installations, play stations with age-appropriate toys, books, and sensory activities, as well as more structured „Sing and Play“ sessions followed by „independent creative playtime“ where children played together while parents were offered a hot drink to enjoy. Each session ended with gentle live music on the flute and ukulele, sensory lights, bubbles, lullabies, and a farewell song.

Parents noticed significant differences between the sessions and typical playgroups, which they felt could be chaotic and overwhelming. The same group of people attended the learning sessions week after week, which parents felt was better suited for building new relationships compared to typical playgroups that are open for one-time visits.

Of particular importance to parents was their trust in the prescribing doctors and the organization, as well as the sense of calm that the intervention promoted, making them receptive to practical parenting knowledge and new social relationships.

Parents believed that socially prescribed creative play positively impacted their children’s development as well as their own mental health and knowledge.

Further research is needed to assess the long-term effects on children’s development and interactions between parents and their children, say the authors.


Journal Reference:

Davis, PE, et al. (2024). My favorite part was learning different play styles: a qualitative assessment of a socially prescribed creative play program. Healthcare. doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2024.01.032.

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