Playing can be a great way for kids to spend their free time and burn off some excess energy, but it can also be an effective tool in their learning journey.
Playing, with parents, peers, or solo, can be a great way for children to burn off extra energy, but even though it seems that way, playing isn’t all fun and games. In fact, play has an important role in the healthy development of a child, and it can be an effective tool for acquiring valuable lifelong skills.
From building cognitive skills to fostering effective communication, here are some of the ways children learn through play.
Play assists cognitive development
Play can be of immense help when it comes to children’s cognitive development. Countless studies have been conducted over the years exploring the impact of play on cognitive development. They found that children who engaged in pretend play showed a higher level of sophistication when it comes to their interaction with peers, which highlighted the importance of high-quality pretend play and the effect it has on children’s cognitive abilities. On the other hand, children who didn’t engage in pretend play or were deprived of play often had trouble performing at school and succeeding in academic areas such as science, literacy, and math. Their social and problem-solving skills were also more likely to be lessened.
There were also studies that explored the importance of parent-child play. What researchers found was that children who played regularly with their parents had a stronger family bond and developed stronger friendships than children whose parents did not play with them as often. Children who played with their parents also displayed greater levels of imagination and cognitive abilities and had a more positive development.
Play improves motor skills
Play is also an important factor when it comes to our children’s motor skills, especially activities that involve a lot of movement. Whether it means climbing monkey bars, sliding, skipping, running, or pedaling, physical play can help kids develop their motor skills, and something as simple as taking your child to a nearby playground can provide them with a wide range of opportunities to practice and perfect their motor skills.
Playgrounds are also places where your kids will be able to meet peers and make new friends with whom they can socialize, play, and further practice their social skills. Physical activities will also help children in combating crankiness and stress, keeping their bodies and minds healthy.
Play promotes social skills
Social skills play a vital role in a child’s normal emotional and language development. When children play, they learn how to get along with their peers and how important it is to share. One way parents can promote these qualities in their kids and encourage altruistic behavior is by leading by example. For instance, parents can choose to participate in fundraising activities by becoming franchisees and finding ways to make a difference with their actions.
There are some great school franchise opportunities that give children a chance to have fun for a good cause while also teaching them valuable leadership and development skills through fun runs and leadership lessons. Fundraisers like these teach children the importance of goal setting and working as a part of a team to achieve the greater good, thus promoting their social skills and providing a positive learning experience.
Play improves confidence in children
Making time for play can also be very beneficial for your child’s self-esteem. Whether the activities are taking place at home, in the classroom, or on the playground, playing can be a great way for kids to explore the activities they enjoy the most. This also gives them a chance to discover what their strengths are and work on their existing skills while also acquiring new ones.
Whether your child is a toddler, preschooler, or a middle schooler, it is important for parents to help their children discover their talents and encourage them to further develop their skills by providing the necessary tools and an environment where they can thrive. Let them choose activities they enjoy most, praise their efforts and encourage them to try again when they get frustrated and let them practice solving problems and coming up with creative solutions on their own.
In the house, in the classroom, or on the playground, playing is vital to the healthy development of children. Strive to incorporate this important teaching tool in your child’s learning journey and you can rest assured you’ll be raising a well-rounded individual.
Photo by Ben McLeod on Unsplash and Olivia Bauso on Unsplash