Just How Important Is Play For Your Child’s Development?

Most people still think that when children play, they are primarily passing time — but they’re wrong. Children gain a great deal from playing, and there are different ways in which they can enjoy this important activity. Under the proper guidance, play can be structured, deliberate and intentional without cutting out the fun children get from it. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of play.

During the early years of childhood, children stand to gain a lot from playing in groups. The following post breaks down the stages of a child’s interaction during play in the early years:

The Importance of Group Play for Early Years Children

Play is a natural mode of learning for early years children, and indeed the default mode for the very youngest. Therefore it’s no surprise that preschool settings are equipped and organised to facilitate such activities. And given that children attend in numbers, there are plenty of formal and informal times when they are engaged in group play. Whilst there is little doubt this is highly enjoyable for all participants, discovering the extent to which they really interact with each other on these occasions, what they gain from the experience, and what childcare professionals can learn from observing this dynamic process, is a more complex and challenging task. Read more at First Discoverers…

It’s important to remember that not all children develop at the same pace, so you shouldn’t be too worried when your child seems to be behind his or her peers.

Nowadays, play is becoming more interesting, incorporating various technological media. The following post describes an example of an innovative play tool for children and its benefits:

Despite the many benefits available from play and sociable interaction, time for free play has been markedly reduced for some children. In the US, many school districts responded to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, by reducing time committed to recess, the creative arts, and even physical education in an effort to focus on reading and mathematics.

While the idea of play might be under threat from traditional methods of education, one startup is hoping to use technology to help children play while advancing their cognitive abilities.

Papumba is a developer and publisher of educational games for mobile devices, which aim to help young children develop cognitive abilities while playing with quality educational, interactive applications. Read more at Sociable…

You can make play more interesting for your child by incorporating time for him or her to play with educational apps that can boost development.

Guided play isn’t just important in preschool, it’s also essential in the home. The following post describes how you can help your child play and learn when they’re not in school:

Learning Through Play

So how do we encourage play for school-age children?

Make sure children are not over-scheduled. Leave time for open-ended, unstructured play.

Engage in play with your child when you can. Be willing to participate in pretend play; dress up, act silly, and be creative.

Follow your child’s lead. Take direction from your child and strive to follow what she wants to do, not necessarily what you want to do.

Respect when children want to play on their own. Sometimes children at play want to be on their own and sometimes they want to play with others. As children play and learn, be sure to look in occasionally to see if their preferences have changed and they are now looking for a playmate. Read more at Bright Horizons…

When you enroll your child in a preschool that understands the importance of play for development, they are set to gain a great deal. Spanish for fun!, one of the top preschools in North Carolina, features an entirely play-based curriculum.

This unique daycare boasts a Spanish immersion preschool and daycare program that provides a well-rounded education that teaches Spanish language and culture in a naturally child-friendly way.