The Importance of Play
As a child reaches for toys or skips on their rope, they are exercising their muscles and training their hand-eye coordination. When communicating with others, they are listening, practicing their speech and also learning to pick up on non-verbal cues. When playing make-believe their imaginations are being activated and children are given a chance to think about things from another person’s perspective and also to think creatively. In playing with others, children are also nurturing their relationships and learning important social skills such as sharing, cooperating and, should interpersonal conflicts arise, problem-solving.
Play is essential to a child’s physical, language, cognitive and social-emotional development and caregivers can help foster this growth by providing a variety of stimulating challenges during playtime.