Playing is one of the most important aspects of a child’s life. Why? Because through peekaboo, building forts, and hide and seek, children learn to think creatively and interact socially. Therefore the importance of playing must not be underestimated because it is essential to a child’s growth and development. What are the benefits of playing?
Develop critical thinking skills
Playing nurtures healthy development and critical thinking skills. It strengthens memory, helps children understand cause and effect, and helps children explore the world in their own way. Through playing, children learn how things fit together. It allows them to use their senses and encourages exploration and curiosity, which are important for intellectual development and cognitive processing. Playing also encourages children to imagine, create, and pretend. Creative, open-ended play helps them to ponder, brainstorm, and practice critical thinking skills.
Better physical development
There are few ways how playing benefits children physically, namely in the development of their fine and gross motor skills. Playing promotes motor development as it encourages movement, develops motor planning skills, and supports balance and dexterity. Other than that, playing helps in developing gross motor skills such as stamina, energy, flexibility, and body awareness. Examples of physical play includes running, swimming, jumping, block building, dancing, climbing, and riding a bike. And always remember key safety precautions when allowing children to these types of activities!
Enhance social and communications skills
When children are playing with others, they learn how to interact, which is super important for social development. It also helps in developing an understanding of social expectations and rules as well as providing opportunities to share thoughts and ideas, to listen, and to compromise. Pretend-play is especially helpful because it aids children to exercise their vocabulary when they speak and try to understand others. During social play, children often reciprocate each other’s words and actions to get to agreements.
Promote impulse control and emotional regulation
Playing helps children understand and process their emotions. When a child loses a game, for example, they learn to process anger, sadness, and grief, which helps them learn to control their emotions. And well-regulated children can wait for a turn, resist the temptation to grab objects from others, control negative emotions, and keep going through challenging activities. Playing also helps in developing confidence and promotes the development of their identity and self-esteem.
Strengthen relationship with caregivers and peers
Parents who play with their children form a stronger bond with them. Even a simple game like patty-cake can become a special moment of bonding for both parents and children. These interactions provide positive impact to their life experiences which helps in stimulating children’s brain development. Happy, playful moments are indeed one of the best things we can give our children!
Playing is crucial in a child’s development. When choosing a pre-school, a play-based preschools may provide a better learning environment than others. Parents should pay attention to how classes are conducted! As for now, go run, sing, and dance with your kids! Have fun! ♥