What is Child’s PLAY? It is your child’s JOB! Your child probably goes to work more hours in a day than you. He is busy from the moment he wakes in the morning until he crashes in bed at night. As adults, we would be exhausted.
We cannot underestimate the importance of Child’s PLAY! It is vital to your child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.
- PLAY promotes problem solving and creativity.
- PLAY builds better language, communication and listening skills.
- PLAY gives your child a sense of power and independence.
- PLAY helps your child learn about his environment and world.
- PLAY helps your child to develop new skills.
When your child is snapping toys together, he is strengthening his small motor skills. At the playground, her arms, legs, and body are getting stronger for gross motor skills. Building with blocks helps him to problem solve. Sand and water play increase her sensory awareness. Playing cards and board games are developing his cognitive skills. Singing songs, reciting nursery rhymes and reading books enhance her literacy and language skills. Interacting with peers improves his social skills. Pretend play creates imagination and helps him to identify and deal with emotions.
Your child is having a very busy and very important day when he is PLAYING! Your child needs and wants large amounts of time to engage in good old fashion PLAY! Your child’s PLAY should be child initiated with support from the adults around him. There should be a balance of playing by herself, playing with peers, and playing with adults. Your child does not need expensive or elaborate toys to begin or stay engaged in PLAY.
Remember PLAY is how young children learn! It comes naturally to them. When you provide opportunities for your child to “just PLAY,” you are creating a happy, healthy, childhood that you and your child will always cherish!
Resources: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff
The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds by Kenneth Ginsburg (American Academy of Pediatrics)