The Importance of Play
It’s Not Just About Fun!
Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.
Below are some well-recognized facts about play:
- Play is the key element of learning for preschool-age children.
- Imaginary play holds a rich potential for promoting children’s cognitive, linguistic, social and physical development.
- When activities are interesting and important to the child, they are eager to learn new vocabulary, physical skills, social behaviors, etc. We learn by doing, creating – Playing!
Observing children’s spontaneous play is a window into their ideas and feelings about the world as such, it is a rich source of ideas for activity planning.
At Kid Ventures, we understanding the developmental needs of children at various age groups, and our daily activities and play-based learning opportunities allow all children to be engaged physically, socially and emotionally.
“Play is our Favorite Way of Learning” – Diane Ackerman
There are 6 types of play important to your child’s development. For parents, understanding these and having a general idea of how kids’ play evolves can help alleviate stress, as well as guide you toward age-appropriate toys and activities.
Here, your baby or toddler creatively moves their body with no purpose other than it feels good and interesting. It’s the most basic type of play: Your child is completely free to think, move, and imagine. The entire world is new, so when you’re thinking about playtime, don’t worry about organizing anything. Try putting your baby on a fluffy monkey pillow in his/her room and let them kick around, handing them a book or a rattle, and let them do their thing. Even the smallest object is full of wonder if you’ve never seen anything like it before. Choose something with lots of textures and color, and avoid bright lights or surprising noises, as they may startle your little one.
Independent or Solitary Play
This is when your child plays alone, with little to no reference to what other kids or adults are doing. As many adults know, you can?t bond properly to new people if you aren?t comfortable by yourself. Starting to encourage this behavior young will definitely make your child’s life easier, and the ability for them to be content with their own discovery will serve them well throughout life. They can get this type of play through finding sticks on a walk, or reading a book quietly…it’s totally up to them.
This is when your child observes the play of other children, while not actually playing themselves. So much of this play stage is inactive, but it?s still significant. The ability to play with others is crucial to getting along in school and beyond.
Though they may use the same toys, your child plays beside, rather than with, other children. Remember, learning to play is learning how to relate to others. In that sense, parallel play is that final stage before your child connects with another.
“Life must be lived as play” Plato
Here, your child plays with other children, but the kids do not organize their play toward a common goal. Around age 3, your preschooler will experience a longer attention span and will really enjoy the social aspect of other children as never before. While purposeful play is still a rarity, taking turns is a totally achievable goal (at least according to researchers, though many parents say otherwise).
Here you can see the beginning of teamwork. Your kid plays with others for a common purpose. In terms of play goals, this is the final developmental stage, because it?s the same basic principle whether you’re doing a school project, putting on a play, or playing a sport.
A child you can engage in cooperative play and can handle a classroom. Interacting, socializing, and communicating sets the stage for social success throughout life.
It’s an incredibly liberating and exciting step for every family. Learning the value of Play is something we can all benefit from!