It is important to keep in mind that play is needed by children as work is needed by adults. As Maria Montessori put it, “Play is the work of the child”.
Play is done either by themselves or with other children which should be of utmost importance to parents. Children learn as they play. Having a child-friendly and play-filled environment allows them to learn and develop new skills.
More than just being fun and exciting, play is essential as it contributes to the social, physical and emotional well-being of children. Play not only gives an opportunity for parents to bond with their children, but it also gives children a chance to learn many things.
Relating with other children their age helps them adapt socially. Through play, children are able to interact with the world around them. Play is where they can connect and socialize with people other than their parents. Play helps them conquer their fears and establish relationships with other children their age. Even at an early age, play allows them to make choices and decisions. Through play, they improve their sense of touch and nonverbal socialization skills. Not only that, play also increases a child’s attention and attachment capabilities.
Another benefit of play is that it helps children become more creative. Play is when children discover what they are truly interested in. As they play, they imagine. From a child’s point of view, everywhere they go is a different world. Everything they touch or see is so unique, thereby stretching their creative imagination. Play might even offer parents a peek at what their children might become in the future.
Play promotes core values that children need to have as they grow. As they interact with their peers, they learn to trust. Being able to trust in the world is important for children as they continue to interact with the people around them. Play also improves openness and allows children to be able to deal with changes and surprises.
As children play, they are able to increase their range of motion and agility. Play helps them improve body coordination, balance and flexibility. By playing with toys and with other children, they are able to develop their sensorimotor and kinesthetic skills. Play increases children’s opportunities to engage in physical activities, thereby keeping them more fit. Most of all, play is simply something that children can enjoy. Play should be enjoyable and fun.
The brain grows at an amazing rate during child development. Play allows children to increase their cognitive abilities. With the help of toys and interaction, children are able to increase efficiency of their brain functions. Parents should also be aware that the toys they give should be educational and appropriate for the children.
The sense of touch, trust, wonder, creativity and imagination should be developed in early childhood play. As they become more comfortable in their world, they develop new competencies and become more confident and braver to accept new challenges in the future.