Life is far too important to take everything seriously. This little bit of reassurance that we, as adults, give ourselves can also be applied to our loving little ones. While work, just like studies, is always a priority, there must be time for relaxation and enjoyment. For parents, it might be in the form of sleep or being able to go on a romantic dinner to rekindle old flames. In the case of children, it is playing, either at home or on the playground. Believe it or not, the importance of playing games has been linked with the cognitive development of a child’s growth. A simple game of building blocks, or mindlessly running in the playground has several positive benefits for your young ones.
The importance of playing games for kids is seen as a critical factor in the development of their brains, bodies and personalities. Playing games helps develop a child’s ability to plan, organise, and rationalise. It helps them regulate their thoughts and emotions and provides them with a positive medium to exhaust their extra energy. It also teaches them important values like that of sportsmanship and honesty. As a kid, like most other 5-year-old boys, I learnt the importance of sportsmanship on the football field and not in a classroom. Shaking the hands of the opponents who inflicted a crushing defeat on my team taught me that there are ups and downs in life. As a parent, if you are also wondering how the importance of play in child development can unleash potential, you’ve come to the right place.
Ideas For Playful Learning
If you’re wondering why we should play or why our kids should play, you’re not alone. All parents are sceptical about it at first but once they see the benefits that playtime brings to the growth of their child, their mindset changes. For play and enjoyment to yield the best results in the development of your child, it’s important to have the right kind of play. Luckily for you, here are age-specific ideas for playful learning.
- Playful learning can start when a baby is under 6 months through his or her first smile. If a baby smiles at you, you need to smile back. It teaches your little one a social-emotional skill that he or she can get your attention just by smiling at you. Moreover, it helps form a unique bond between parent and child.
- Communicate with your baby by using the same babbling sounds that he or she makes. Listen to your baby babble and similarly respond to that. This acts as a sort of prompt and lays the foundation for the development of social language skills.
- Show your baby different objects at home and outside. It is important to expose your child to his or her surroundings. Gradually introduce new objects of different shapes and bright colours for your baby to hold, explore and play with.
- Placing your baby in different resting positions can be a great way of making them view the world from different angles. The importance of play in child development can be seen by placing your baby on his tummy. It acts as a sort of tummy time for play and brings a great big and glorious smile to your child’s face.
- Play should be a fun and safe experience for your child. Make sure your little ones have a safe environment to crawl, explore, and play in.
- Your baby needs to see himself or herself. Use a mirror to show your baby the funny facial expressions that he or she makes.
- Teach your little ones that their actions have consequences. For instance, if your baby drops or throws a toy out of his or her reach, rather than handing it to the child, put it within his or her reach and let the child pick it up.
- Play peek-a-boo with your toddler. This teaches your kid to think and explore his surroundings. Once your child knows that you are hiding from him or her, your kid will start to look for you. To make the exercise even more meaningful, you can hide a toy under a blanket and wait for your little one to find it.
- Exposing your child to different sensory experiences. As a toddler, one relies upon their sense of touch and smell. Heighten their senses by exposing them to different experiences. A simple example of this is taking your kid to a playground and letting him touch the grass or sand.
- Since this is the age that your child will be going to a preschool, you need to choose one that has adequate playtime. Learning through fun and interactive activities lays a strong foundation and has been known to enhance cognitive development and motor skills in children.
- Let your child play with building blocks, plastic spoons, empty water bottles, and empty containers. In addition to this, ensure that your kids solve puzzles. All of the above teaches your child about his or her surroundings, encourages creative thinking and stimulates the imagination.
- Provide your child with the opportunity to interact and play with peers. It is integral for your little ones to interact with other kids of his or her age group.
- Help your little one develop his or her motor skills by showing them different movements. All kids learn through imitation, so show various movements and let your kids try it themselves. Simple movements like jumping or bending down are a great way to start with it.
- Read regularly to your child. The more you read to your child, the more your child is likely to develop better phonetic and language skills. Singing songs and rhymes are other ways of developing language skills.
- It’s now time for your child to engage in fun and interactive activities like singing, dancing and drawing. These provide opportunities for your child to develop his or her cognitive and multisensory skills.
- Allow your child the space for his or her imagination to run wild. You can easily do this by providing your child with a few different clothes and props and having your kid act out imaginary scenes.
- Allow your child to have supervised and limited screen time. Different educational shows on television and the internet are helpful for a child’s growth. However, it must be limited owing to the negative effects of prolonged screen time.
Types Of Play
- Playing with toys and objects allows your kid to explore his or her immediate surroundings and start thinking for himself or herself. Your child needs to start forming impressions from the very start.
- Physical and outdoor play is essential for the growth of your little ones. This encourages physical activity and has positive effects on both the mind and the soul. Development through this kind of play is rated as one of the top 10 benefits of play.
- Pretend or imaginary play is another type of play that yields cognitive results. It allows children the space to try out different social roles.
Here at EuroKids, our team of academicians and skilled personnel develop a curriculum that strikes a balance between academics and co-curricular activities. Our preschools have a dedicated playtime for kids during which they engage in fun and engaging activities that stimulate the mind and body to contribute to the overall development of your little ones. If you want to learn more about children’s games play or the top 10 benefits of play, visit our blog.