Besides being a fun pastime, play is essential to a child’s overall well-being and development. With games such as peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, and hopscotch, children are enriched in many ways.
Playing with parents and friends is essential for developing children’s brain, body, and social link, according to a clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Kids’ ability to plan, organize, get along with others, and manage their emotions can be improved through playing. Children learn the language, numeracy, social skills, and how to deal with stress via play.
Are They Playing Enough?
Studies revealed that children’s playtime has been decreasing for decades despite its numerous advantages. Among the causes include more restricted family and school schedules, more parents working outside the house, fewer safe places to play, and more media use and screen time. According to studies, the average preschooler watches 4.5 hours of TV every day!
Rather than relying on external factors like exam results, learning is best powered by tapping into a child’s inherent desire to play. Children learn 21st-century abilities when they actively connect with and happily discover their world. These talents increasingly need cooperation and innovation.
There are different learning activities for children of ages starting from birth up to 6 years of age. It is essential to look into the activities your child would enjoy depending on their age to help them develop.
How Play Relieves Stress
Play helps to form secure, stable, and caring connections that buffer against toxic stress and promote social-emotional resilience in children and improve their health and development. Mutual delight and one-on-one engagement during play also can help control the body’s stress response.
When 3- to 4-year-old children who were nervous before starting preschool were permitted to play for 15 minutes instead of listening to a tale, they were two times less likely to feel anxious.
Different Types of Play to Mix Up
There are various types of play you can mix up to ensure learning as your child is having fun playing. Here are some notable ones:
- Toys and Objects for Sensory-Motor Skills
When newborns play with a toy, they use their sensory-motor abilities to investigate its features and perform “experiments” as if they were miniature scientists. They could, for example, bang an object on the floor to see if it is solid.
Preschoolers also utilize objects to develop abstract cognition and concepts such as symbolism. For example, they may use a banana as a telephone and learn about sharing and taking turns.
- Physical Play for Motor Skills
Physical activity, such as free play at recess, aid in developing motor skills, the prevention of childhood obesity, and the developing of emotional intelligence in children.
Duck-duck-goose and tag games in preschool also help children develop other socio-emotional skills such as empathy as they learn not to injure others by tapping them too hard.
- Outdoor Play for Spatial Awareness
Outdoor play is particularly essential because it allows children to develop spatial awareness and balance abilities by enabling them to engage all of their senses. It can also help a child’s concentration
- Pretend Play for Creativity
This form of play allows young children to try out various social roles while also learning to collaborate. Dress-up, pretend play, and imaginative play foster creativity while developing more complicated negotiating, communication, and language abilities.
Children’s play is crucial to a child’s development and well-being. As a parent, you can help your child engage in the best ways possible. Rather than just setting your child in front of the TV or a computer, you can find daycares, games, activities, and toys that encourage your child’s development.