Why does play in early childhood matter? Through play, children can explore the world around them, develop their social skills, build their creativity, and learn important cognitive and motor skills. And as Fred Donalson, a play speacialist puts it: "Children learn as they play.. Most importantly in play children learn how to learn." Indeed, play should be a part of your chilld's learning strategy.
And play that involves physical activities could help them expend energy and decreases the likelihood of childhood obesity. Yes, play contributes to the overall well-being of a child. Play in early childhood is a gift to all children.
But nearly everyone knows this. So, why are we talking about this? Because as parents and caregivers, we may be so wrapped up in our world and give the children the most convenient alternative, electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, and so forth. And this is only one of the reasons many children are not getting enough play.
Here are a couple more reasons:
While there may be valid reasons for each of the above, it is important to recognize the importance of play for children's development and well-being. We need to schedule the time for play. Infact, play is considered a basic right of a child as noted in an article on the importance of play by the American Academy of Pediatrics. How can you do that?
Including play in early childhood is critical for children's development and learning. You do not need much to introduce play, just be creative. Years ago, we did not have a lot of toys we played with old furniture, rocks, and sand, explore the backyard and looked at the animals there. We weren't bored because it was exciting to do different things at home and outdoors.
Studies show that many children today, also prefer simple basic things over fancy and elaborate toys like their counterparts from the past! Here are a few things you could include:
Childhood play may be as old as humankind. The way children play these days may have changed, but the main idea and principles remain the same.
To recap, play is not just about fun and games—it's a vital part of a child's development. Through play, children enhance their imagination, creativity, problem-solving skills, and emotional intelligence. Whether it's building forts, dressing up as superheroes, or simply running around in the park, play allows children to explore their world, develop social skills, and foster a sense of joy and wonder. So, encourage your little ones to embrace the magic of playtime, letting their imaginations soar and their smiles shine bright!
Lastly, unless you have the funds for it, 'play' does not have to be expensive. Look around your home, you may find some creative, fun, and safe things your child can play with. And remember to share this post with a parent who may find this helpful.
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