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The Importance of Play In a Child's Development

The Importance of Play In a Child's Development

The Importance of Play In a Child's Development

Playing is the most basic activity of childhood, and to parents it seems like such a simple task. Yet the importance of play to the manner in which your child develops cannot be underestimated. Play is important to your child's development in many ways, including socially, physically, and cognitively. Playtime is a chance to watch your child develop before your eyes.

What play teaches a child.

Even the earliest forms of play the simple holding of a toy begin the learning process through which children start to understand how the world works and their role in it. "It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles," explains Dr. Kenneth R. Ginsburg in a 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics report.The Importance of Play In a Child's Development

Through play, children develop better hand-eye coordination, start to understand the rules of cause and effect, and even start to develop a sense of socially acceptable behavior. Children who play together are learning to interact with each other successfully.

When children don't have time to play.

Today's children are experiencing much more pressure to perform academically at the expense of time spent at play. Even very young children have lives that are very highly scheduled and full of important learning activities. Certainly there is something to be said for organized activities and encouraging education, but free play should not be abandoned. Time spent in free play is important for children to develop imagination and explore the world around them.

Spending a lot of time on organized preschool activities along with the busy lives of parents and children alike sometimes means that children are missing out on the time off that they need to avoid struggles with feeling pressured. Although pushing your kids to succeed does have its benefits, "even children who are benefiting from this enrichment still need some free unscheduled time for creative growth, self-reflection, and decompression and would profit from the unique developmental benefits of child-driven play," explains Dr. Ginsburg."

Guidelines for parents.

In order to ensure that your children experience normal childhood development through play while still achieving the needed academic success, you need to find some balance. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow:

Take a look at your schedule and make sure there is a balance between the scheduled activities and free play

Promote time spent playing freely in the place of too much television

Look for a preschool that incorporates free play into the day

Encourage imaginative play through your choice of appropriate toys

Play is vital and normal, and every child needs a chance to spend time at free play to develop normally. Make sure your child can find the time to explore the world through play.
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