- Posted by sarahkelley
- On June 7, 2016
- 0 Comments
When I was a kid, some of my favorite adventures were outside exploring, putting on plays we made up, or playing with my toys inside. We learned to cook, we went camping, and we played a lot of games. I think this helped my creativity, gave me independence, and taught me to interact with others. Getting down on the floor and racing cars with your son or playing dress up with your daughter may not come natural, but it really can help you develop a closer relationship and understand your child more. There are so many benefits to play. Lets look at a few of those benefits and what you can do to give your child as many opportunities to play as you can.
What are the benefits of play?
Play allows the brain to develop. It helps create personality and likes versus dislikes. Play helps your child learn to relate and interact with others, including you as parents. It helps with problem solving and builds your child’s confidence and self-esteem by allowing him or her to achieve and be successful. Your child will also learn to cope with his or her emotions as he or she handles wins and losses. Play also helps with physical development and prevents obesity. Kids are able to play out themes and express themselves using the language of play. They are free to explore and discover themselves.
What happens if my child doesn’t play enough?
Children are naturally drawn to play. Children without toys will play with sticks and stones or pots and pans. So what are some of the downfalls of a child that isn’t allowed to play? Your child may have a more difficult time coping with stressful situations, as play allows children to problem solve. Your child may struggle with an addiction to TV, the computer, or video games, the activities they may be doing instead of play. Your child may become socially isolated or have difficulty relating to or engaging with his or her peers. Motor skills may be delayed as well, leading to a risk of childhood obesity. Yes these risks may seem extreme, but play is an integral part of your child’s development.
How can I play with my child?
Next to giving your child ample time to play throughout his or her day, it’s very important for you to get down and play with them too!! Playing with your child allows you to enter into their “world.” It helps you teach your child hands on using their language, play. It also allows you to develop a closer relationship. Your child feels connected with you and more secure. This carries out into him or her feeling more confident at school and better able to develop relationships with peers.
Aim for at least 20-minutes of play with your child every day. Try one of the activities below!