In a society that strives on working hard and achieving goals, play is a foreign concept. But for our children, play is work.
What are your kids doing when they are not sleeping or eating? They are playing. Play is how they make their mark on the world.
Playing has a number of benefits that we can all agree upon. It gives pleasure, stimulation, engagement, and motivation. It allows kids to learn about the world around them and grow.
Some parents push their children to grow up too early. It’s important to let your kids play and release pent-up energy. Even adults need a timeout to unwind from time to time.
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Here are six benefits to letting your child play:
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1. Improves Communication Skills
As babies grow up, they learn to walk and talk. The language they speak may not necessarily be coherent, but they sure are fun to listen to!
Do you notice how babies find everything entertaining? Don’t you just want to be a baby again so that you can see the world the way they do? They are very curious and imaginative.
Children learn about applying executive skills through play. They delegate roles to each other; they instruct how to move the train or how to feed the doll. They even demonstrate how these tasks can be done if their playmate is unaware of the rules.
They learn to cooperate with each other in group play and share responsibilities. Through communication during play time, they develop social skills. Slowly but steadily, they create group rules and work together as friends.
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2. Improves Creativity
All children are artists. In pre-school, you will notice they’ll be encouraged to draw and build things with which they are able to awaken their inner creativity.
Before children are introduced to the world of responsibilities, they learn to be free and imaginative through play time. Have you noticed how interesting their toys are?
Manufacturing toys require creativity, and so does playing with them. An uncreative person cannot play as well as others. So we as adults can learn a lot about creativity from our kids.
Creative abilities allow problem-solving skills to develop over time. When children find a situation to be difficult, they play. When they are bored, they play.
By playing and feeding their creativity, they find constructive solutions to problems and occupy themselves. It’s a win-win!
3. Helps Better Cognitive Development
Motor skills and social skills develop while your child learns through play.
Playing is not just for kids. It is encouraged in them so that they can learn and grow. In other words, play is one of a child’s basic needs for growth.
Innovative toys promote a child’s thinking ability, communication, IQ and self-awareness. Some people believe that reading books and watching the news can improve a child’s neurological development. That’s not necessarily true.
Try to imagine a person who is always working, reading books and watching bad news. Do they look happy?
So, in order for a child to develop essential biological skills, fun and educational play is crucial in his or her life.
4. Increases Analytical Skills
This is probably the last thing you will be expecting from your child. But believe it or not, they get a grasp on analytical problems as they play.
Children are curious by nature. They investigate, observe, taste and touch everything they see.
For example, when they are drawing a rabbit on a piece of paper, they wonder about which color to use, how long the ears should be, how small the tails should be, should there be any bushes around it or not and so on.
It’s the same when they are learning to ride a bike. They have to figure out a lot of things in their heads before they can master the art of perfect riding. Hence we can say that play has a practical approach to building analytical skills in small children.
5. Helps Better Physical Fitness
Playing promotes the growth of muscles and bones. It engages all parts of a child’s body, including their mind.
Even games played indoors require physical movement. So, no matter what toys they are playing with, there is some sort of physical activity involved.
Games that involve lots of running and hopping boost a child’s cardio-vascular growth. At the same time, they learn to balance their bodies when riding a bicycle, unicycle, using a jump rope or doing gymnastics.
6. Helps Emotional Growth
Emotions are complex. A child faces the complexity of his or her own emotions and those of others from a very young age. They want to understand why mommy and daddy are feeling the way they are feeling and acting the way they are acting.
They learn to understand both their own and other people’s emotions through play. Playing with dolls allows children to identify the roles of the people around them and understand their behavior. They may often demonstrate negative behavior, which is always a reflection of the behavior they see at home.
It is also possible for them to identify with their role models, such as on television and in a book, by copying their behavior during play. Though they won’t be able to have a grasp on their emotions until much later, they can still nurture their inner self while engaging in these acts of play.
Tantrums and mood swings are common among children. It always happens when they don’t get what they want. Adults can help kids to cope with negative emotions by joining them during doll plays, and demonstrating the right behavior.
Children need to play in order to function properly in society. The act of play promotes a child’s physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, social and personal growth.
Some children may not enjoy playing. It depends on how they were raised.
However, all work and no play is a sad life to live. You should always give your child enough time to play, laugh and have fun, since the only way to survive is to enjoy living. So make sure you set the right example for your child by loosening up a little and showing them how wonderful living can be.