Ever wondered how beneficial playtime is for children?
As a parent, you have a valuable resource on your hands when it comes to helping your kids learn essential life skills and lessons.
Play is every child’s favourite activity, especially for children aged between 3 and 5 years.
It’s also one of the most natural and simplest ways for children to learn since they do not even notice that they’re doing it.
Learning through play is universal for young children and booking out an indoor play centre or hiring a jumping castle is a great idea for birthday parties.
Here are 7 ways play impacts the learning process in children.
Play for children is a valuable resource that can help them learn new things and develop their personalities.
As a child plays, they develop:
Physical abilities: Running on the playground, climbing trees, and chasing one another will enhance their motor skills.
Cognitive skills: Playing games like a pretend grocery store or bank can help children develop their abstract and rational thinking and their problem-solving skills.
Social skills: Through playing with other kids.
Vocabulary skills: When playing with their toys they have to come up with unique words/names for them.
Negotiation skills: As they play with other children, they have to learn to share their toys and get along.
Imaginative and creative skills: Through mixing and matching paint colours or creating different shapes and items, such as with playdough.
From birth, kids start experimenting with how their bodies move.
As they continue to grow, they start developing their gross motor skills, which involve large body movements that entail the use of the large muscles in the torso, feet, legs, and arms.
And fine motor skills, small movements involving the muscles in their lips, tongues, wrists, toes, and fingers.
One of the ways children improve their motor skills is through play.
Gross motor skills are developed through various activities like throwing, rolling over, and hopscotch.
While fine motor skills are enhanced by participating in activities such as painting, picking up blocks, and making stories using their hands.
To assist bone and muscle development and to maintain a healthy weight, children aged between 5 and 12 years should perform moderate to vigorous or intense physical activity for at least one hour each day.
It’s essential that they perform activities that raise their heart rate and get them panting a bit.
Physical activities for preschool-aged children and infants vary as they continue to grow.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to get kids moving, especially when done outside.
Climbing a tree, swimming, playing ‘tag’, jumping on a jumping castle or trampoline, or riding a bicycle are all fun activities that keep children active without making it feel like they are ‘exercising.’
According to the professionals at Blackwood Osteopathy, this will help maintain good habits as children get older. “Participating in a balanced diet, staying hydrated and exercising will go a long way and even help keep things like brain fog at bay. Encouraging this habit at a young age can set up children well as they get older.”
If you have limited space at home, head over to your local recreation centre or park, for older children, participating in organised sports events can help them develop their social skills while keeping them active.
From birth, toddlers start to develop their spatial awareness through activities like sensory play.
‘Play’ activities like holding your toddler close to your face as you speak to them, rocking him or her, or placing them on their belly for some ‘tummy time’ are useful in helping your child develop their spatial awareness.
Toddlers use their senses to understand the shape, weight, and size of the objects they handle.
From feeling the different textures of different outdoor objects to playing with blocks, there are many types of play that can help a child develop their spatial and sensory awareness.
To children, play comes naturally.
Give a child a bit of space and time, and they will come up with amazing stories and ideas.
Imagination is an awesome thing when you are a child, so let your child take the lead when it comes to weaving stories.
For mental development, professional mindset coaches at Jeanine Sciacca International emphasise that nurturing children and their child-like tendencies can help them in their adulthood. “It’s only when we are older that our subconscious takes a back seat and our conscious mind gets in the way of us living our most authentic lives. Allowing children to be free will hopefully foster this more in their adult lives.”
Talk to them about their play experience and enjoy these magical times together.
Sensory play is an activity that helps stimulate a child’s sense of smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch, balance and movement.
This kind of play teaches them how to process the things they experience through senses and helps them understand the world and environment around them from a very early age.
Even before a toddler learns to talk, play provides a channel through which they can express themselves emotionally.
It also helps kids learn how to control and manage their emotions.
According to the teaching team at Gymbaroo Ryde, play time is essential to children developing emotionally. “Having time to interact with other children their own age and build up social skills, children have the chance to learn emotionally. This is through expressing themselves, their needs and meeting new people which lays a good foundation for when they get older and start school.”
Play is essential for children and allows them to learn valuable life skills and lessons that can’t be learnt in any other environment.
Does organising an opportunity to play for your children sound right for you? Get in touch with the teaching team at Gymbaroo Ryde or check out our range of castles for your child’s play.
Written by: Frank Jackson
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