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Benefits Of Play For Children

Benefits Of Play For Children
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Kids love playing but did you know that as well as being fun it also has a lot of educational value?

Explore

For young kids, play is how they investigate and explore the world around them. You may not see much educational value in running around the park or kicking a football about but for your child, it is a source of knowledge. By doing these things young kids learn how their body works, what muscles they need to use to run faster and how far they can push themselves. They develop muscle strength, flexibility and body movement. Add a ball into the equation and you are encouraging the development of coordination and consequences – i.e. they kick the ball away and they need to go after it.

Skills

Likewise, a sand and water table can be a fun introduction to maths (volume, weight, etc) while playing with dough or paint helps develop creativity. Playing games introduces the idea of sharing and taking turns while dancing and playing musical instruments teaches rhythm and listening skills. And that’s before you start on educational toys such as shape sorters, alphabet toys and threading reels.

Concentration

Benefits Of Play For ChildrenAt play, many kids become absorbed in what they are doing. They may spend ages building a tower of blocks only to knock it down and start again or they might enjoy dressing up or playing with action figures, dolls or puppets, creating scenarios for them. This helps them learn to concentrate on a task, a skill that they’ll need when they start school. Using imagination also helps boost creativity, which in turn can boost intellectual development. So the next time your child hands you an imaginary phone you should answer it!

Socialising

Learning to take turns, share and socialise with their peers is another reason why play time is so important for young kids. If you have an only child then you might want to consider taking them along to a playgroup or encouraging them to play with other kids in the park. Don’t expect too much from them but do promote the idea of being kind to each other.

Playing for fun

Of course, playing should always be fun and if your child is enjoying herself then it’s likely she’ll get more from it. Choose activities you know your child will enjoy and try to mix things up a bit so they have a variety of different things going on. Try to create a good balance of mental and physical challenges for them to overcome through play, whether it’s sorting shapes and colours or climbing the ladder to reach the top of the slide.

Kids benefit from play in so many ways from learning to socialise to discovering how their bodies work. But remember that every child is different and they all develop in their own time. Don’t push to hard or focus too much on what can be learned from what your child is doing, just concentrate on having fun.

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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