Play is vital to childhood development. Why? Because it’s the simple peekaboo, patty-cake and playing house that teaches children to interact socially and think creatively.
Through playtime children develop mentally and physically, discovering a swing of emotional skills and learning how to interpret the world. Essentially, playtime is at the core of healthy childhood development.
At Kidsonwheelz, we believe in the power of play time and our arsenal of toys and accessories are built to enable fruitful childhood experiences. In this post, we’re going to cover the importance of playtime and how kids learn by having fun.
The importance of playtime is backed by scientific data!
Dr. Tiff Jumaily, a paediatrician who works at the Medicine Studio City in Los Angeles says, “Play is how children learn.” According to a study from 2012, play reduces stress. “On the whole, play is associated with responses that facilitate learning and work off stress,” says Jumaily.
However, the big questions are what are the major benefits of play? What type of toys, engagement and activities help nurture childhood development? From expert advice, we’ve narrowed down the major benefits of play.
Mayra Mendez, PhD is a licensed psychotherapist and program coordinator at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in California. She said in an interview with Healthline, “Play is important because it provides a primary foundation for learning, exploring, problem-solving, and building an understanding of the world and your role within it.” For children of all ages, learning through playtime fosters a sense of responsibility and cognitive development.
The benefits of play
Where there are many benefits of play for children, it is known to develop cognitive, physical, social and emotional growth in the child. Play is more than just fun and games, but experiences that teach a child how to respond to situations.
How do children learn through play? It’s rather simple. Play gives the child a chance to emulate what they experience and practice their skills. It enables an outlet for experimentation and creativity, and play nurtures a child’s ability to learn, interact and communicate with others. Even before school, playtime is the foundation to your child’s overall growth.
Let’s dive deeper by studying the many developmental benefits of play.
- Cognitive benefits
Play allows the healthy development of a child’s critical thinking abilities. By reinforcing memory, children understand cause and effect of their actions through play elements. According to Mayra Mendez, that’s how children explore the world and their role in it.
Young children mingle with others their age and learn how to fit together through play. They use their senses and are encouraged to explore and be curious. These skills become the foundation to their intellectual and cognitive processing.
Play inspires children to create, imagine and pretend which are all vital signs of cognitive development. A creative and open-ended playtime helps children brainstorm, exercise and conceptualize their critical thinking abilities.
- Physical benefits
Play physically helps develop a child’s fine and gross motor skills. Also, play encourages children to be active which in turn brings a myriad of benefits to their physical development. By encouraging movement and the spatial dynamics of their environment, play helps children to plan. They learn how to balance and improve dexterity. Their energy levels, stamina, body awareness and flexibility are nurtured with enough playtimes.
Play teaches a child that their physical well-being is something to cherish and apply to real situations. Examples of physical development include running, swimming, jumping, dancing, block building, riding bikes, climbing trees and playing with their ride-on cars. When you do provide these type of opportunities for your child’s growth, be sure to supervise that they wear a helmet when biking and are safe in the pool.
- Social benefits
Play also helps in social development because it allows a child to understand how to interact with others. Through playtime, some of the most formative and lifelong social skills are developed. Children learn how to take challenges in the right spirit and solve problems as a team.
Through play, a child develops an understanding of social norms, expectations, rules and applies these learning to the right context when it does arise. Play also provides opportunities for children to share their thoughts, listen and compromise.
- Emotional benefits
When a child is playing, they are more responsive to the situation at hand. Hence, play helps children process and understands their emotions. Kim Wheeler Poitevien is a child therapist from Philadelphia who states, “Kids process their emotions and new concepts through play.”
For example, when a child loses a game, they adapt and process their emotions like anger, sadness, and grief. Playing helps them build confidence and encourages them to develop their identity and self-esteem.
Without play, the child doesn’t fully experience their childhood. Fundamentally, to ensure that your child gains enough playtimes is a thoughtful investment.
Get the best toys online from Kidsonwheelz!
If you are wondering how to keep your child exposed to healthy playtime, or finding ways to keep them occupied with the right toys, check out the Kidsonwheelz online gallery. You can browse through a range of really cool toys and ride-ons for kids of all ages. The commitment to facilitating wonderful childhood experiences begins with an investment.
Invest in your child’s future with the right environment to encourage their childhood development through fun.