Play is a child’s work. It is so important to a child’s development that it is listed as Article 31 on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.
Article 31: That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
The UN has spoken. Play is a child’s right. So what exactly are the benefits of play to children?
Here are the top 10 benefits of play to children:
1. Play teaches children how the world works
A child indirectly learns about gravity as he observes that a ball will fall back down no matter how high he throws it.
2. Play helps children learn relationship between objects
A young boy learns that spoon is for eating while spade is for gardening. He realized this because a spade is too big for his mouth and it’s found in the garden, not the kitchen.
3. Play develops gross motor skills
A toddler may find himself a wobbly walker at first but soon he’ll develop into a fast runner. Then a couple weeks more, he’ll add jumping, hopping and skipping to his list of movements as he safely plays in the confine of his play pen.
4. Play develops fine motor skills
A preschooler finds herself more capable of stringing beads together as she gradually improves her fine motor skills. Next week, she plans to make a bracelet for her mom made of colorful beads.
5. Play promotes imagination
Two girls are playing doctors. Surgeons to be exact. They hand each other toy scalpels and stethoscope as they operate on a toy doll lying on a toy iron board.
6. Play develops social skills
A young boy learns that he’ll gain more playmates if he shares his toys. While a little girl learns how to take turns as she waits for her round on the playground swing.
7. Play builds self-esteem
A kindergartner finds out that she is brave after crawling inside a long and dark tunnel.
8. Play promotes creativity
Two siblings are busy moulding their play dough. One made a pizza with pepperoni and mushroom toppings. The other one made a burger with pizza as a filling.
9. Play improves communication skills
A cute boy just learned his first clear sentence, “I want to play, Mom.”
10. Play improves emotional quotient
A young girl displays different range of emotions as she plays with her friends. She felt happy, sad, frustrated and relieved in just an hour of playing. In that one hour, she learned how to control and manage her impulses.
Play is a treasured part of childhood. It clearly has a big contribution to your child’s development.
Let’s not forget, play was a huge chunk of OUR childhood! I know. I have lot of good childhood memories and most of them involve me playing.
I guess it is safe to say that: Happy Play = Happy Childhood!
I know you want that for your child, too! It is then a must for us adults to encourage play in children. And it will be even better if we could provide them with appropriate toys that they can play with. We can also facilitate some of the games they play to further boost their childhood experience.
Do you have any childhood memory that involves play that you wish to share?
What games did you like playing as a child? Have you introduced those games to your child yet?
How about your favorite toys?
I would be happy to read your thoughts. Do write them down on the comment box below.
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