Click here to learn how to become a smart parent and raise a happy child.

Importance Of Play
In Child Development

Importance of Play in Child Development...

... Play is universal throughout the animal kingdom -- whether it's a puppy chasing its tail, or young birds swooping through the air.

Importance of Play

The importance of play to youngsters should not be underestimated.

Play is an essential part of growing up and researchers believe it's critical to ensure children reach their full potential in life.

Research in animals show that brain connections develop during periods of play, and there's no reason to suppose the same is not true of young humans.

Parents don't always understand the importance of play however, and in today's competitive world, the temptation is to stop your children "wasting time" and to put the time to what they believe is more constructive use.

For a child, however, there is no more constructive activity than play. When analysing the importance of play, particularly if you're tempted to introduce a more "worthwhile" activity such as flash cards, educational computer games or dancing lessons, you should take into account the following points...

Play allows a young child to be "in charge". Think about this -- in their everyday lives, they're small and powerless, always being told what to do, and how to do it. Without an adult around, they're running the show!

Play helps children learn about the world in which they live. They can investigate and discover, test their theories, spatial relationships, explore cause and effect, societal roles and family values. Such is the importance of play, that there's virtually no area of life about which it can't teach your child something.

Play builds self-esteem. Children will often play at something they know they can do well, at which they can be successful.

Play builds social skills. Children will begin playing with inanimate and non-threatening objects, like cuddly toys, bricks etc, so practising their interactive skills. Later, playing with other children will build on this foundation as they learn to share, take turns, assert themselves and begin to empathise with others.

Play with parents shouldn't be underestimated either, as research shows that children whose parents play with them ultimately develop superior social skills.

Play also provides the opportunity for children to work out their feelings. The importance of dealing with difficult or unpleasant emotions is immense. A child who's worried about going to the dentist, for example, may deal with the anxiety by setting up a clinic for dolls with toothache.

Play helps with language development. Think of the vast number of words a toddler uses during play, many of them repeatedly, enhancing their language skills.

Play allows children to grow beyond their years. They can pretend to be all sorts of things in play - a doctor, a surgeon, a civil engineer even!! (Think of those bricks)

Finally, don't forget to consider the importance of stimulating your child's creativity and imagination - making a castle in the sand, or a car garage out of a shoe box, taking an order in their own (imaginary) restaurant or dressing up as a king or queen - these all allow children to stretch the limits of their world and experience the fun in make-believe.

Click here to learn more about how children learn through their play.

Download a FREE Chapter of my new ebook "The Smart Parenting Guide" and discover an easy-to-follow guide for raising a happy, positive, responsible and caring child.

Plus get 2 other FREE gifts... "10 Tips To Prevent or Subdue Temper Tantrums" & "12 Safety Devices To Protect Your Children"

The Smart Parenting Guide
Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you "Your Child & You" Newsletter.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave us a comment in the box below.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Use this search feature to find it.

Return from Importance of Play to Articles on Child Development Home Page

Return from Importance of Play to Child Development Guide Home Page

Back to Top Page