After a whole day in school, we often ask our kids “what did you do in school?” And they would often say, “I played in school.” Most of the parents might think, “Why only play? What lesson did you discuss today?” Let’s not misunderstand our children. This is because our children learn through playing. Let them enjoy, let them be successful in playing. They are kids, and it’s their job to play and have fun.
What is play?
Play is a childhood occupation. All children play! Either indoor, outdoor, marbles or even sand these are all kinds of play. It is a language of the children to express their interest, express their feelings and express how they want to be in the future. Most importantly, it is a constructive process for children to learn. We always say, “experience is the best teacher.” It is indeed true! Play is an experience. It provides stimulation to the different senses (sight, smell, touch, hear & taste). It is flexible and motivating. Playing has no rules or boundaries. When you play, you create your own story. It is also pleasurable, and it involves active engagement.
Children are naturally playful. If they have the open opportunities to follow their curiosity, do what they enjoy, and discover the world around them, they will definitely succeed. Without it, their development will be affected.
Why is play important?
Play is central to your child’s learning and development. When your child plays, it gives her lots of different ways and times to learn. These are the reasons why:
- Play creates opportunities for children to cultivate and practice new skills important for their development. When children play, they are developing skills in all areas of development: cognitive, physical, communication, and social/emotional. They practice and reinforce these skills in a way that can’t be achieved through worksheets or screen time.
- Play creates a situation for social interaction and language development. Through play, children learn how to get along with others, even the difficult ones. They learn how to adjust, how to take turns and how to respond to different situations while playing. They’ll learn how to negotiate and compromise. It will help them realize what feels right and what doesn’t. Also, they would learn how to respect the boundaries of others.
- Play keeps the body healthy! Play promotes healthy habits by actively engaging children in the world around them. When children walk, run, jump, hop, manipulate toys – it strengthens their gross and fine motor skills. This will help them with their body balance and coordination. Having physical activities can also be beneficial to mental health.
- Play helps our children to know themselves more. They will discover their own power, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. During play, children often have opportunities to solve their own problems that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do. They will realise their own resourcefulness, creativity, power, and their ability to organise the environment to meet their own needs.