While play is something that comes quite natural to children, it is an essential part of their lives and is quite crucial for the enjoyment of their childhood as well as their social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.
Playtime will always be at the top of any child’s list when asked what they like doing best. And why not…? As this is what youngsters love to do – a time when they get to do what they like, in their own way, and for their own reasons.
As parents, we might look at this favourite past time of theirs and try to curb it a bit, for fear of overindulgence. But how about we take a moment to see beyond the countless hours of running around as well as the ‘high energy’ sounds (we like to call noise…lol) that accompany this activity, and analyse this a bit more. You might just realise that there might be a lot more to be gained from this favourite pastime.
Below, we have listed out some of these benefits:
Through play, your child will develop a good number of skills in different areas of development. These skills will be developed in a way most effectively, through play e.g. physical, social, communication and cognitive.
By developing new skills, your child’s confidence will grow, especially as they begin to apply these skills in different areas of their life.
As already stated, play is generally on the child’s terms, as they make their own decisions during play; they start to realise the connection between their choices and the natural outcomes of those choices.
Playtime affords your child the opportunity to learn about his / her environment and the wider community as whole. In doing so, they learn how to take risks and become spontaneous, as they interact with materials and their environment. The sense of the unknown helps children develop mental flexibility and executive function. By doing so, they build resilience through challenges, problem solving, and dealing with new and unprecedented situations.
Through play, your child’s imagination, independence and creativity will grow.
Whilst playing children become so engrossed, that they lose all concept of time and space, and become fully focused on the task at hand. This promotes attentiveness in your child.
Play helps to improve and maintain your child’s physical and mental health. Your child will actively engage in their environment and the world around them.
Children can address their anxiety and fears through play.
It is quite clear to see the many benefits of play, for your child. There are also a number of benefits for adults as well. We don’t have to make life just about work, just because we’re adults. We can also reap the benefits of play too, as play can have a great impact on our relationships, job and mood in general.
So, the next time you see your child playing, perhaps join in!
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