The Power of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development
Every child born into this world has an innate need to learn. When early child development specialists say that play is a kid’s occupation, they are describing the very essence of the word. Play takes many different forms, but its simplest and most important connotation is ‘learning’.
Play can occur when a child is alone or a part of a group. A kid can play by himself without a need for social interaction, but the same child may choose to play with other kids a few minutes afterward. All these interactions are enriching and foster learning.
The Many Merits of Play
If you ask a speech therapist about the value of play, he or she might say that it is important for a child to develop communication skills. Literacy is learned, and in a playful environment, it becomes easy and encouraging to produce new sounds and acquire vocabulary words.
When a pediatric physiotherapist responds to the same question, he or she would explain the great value of play in the first year of life, characterised by the development of postural control against gravity and fundamental movement patterns that will influence a child’s physical, sensory-perceptual and cognitive development.
The most reputable childcare centres in Metford promote play as a driving force in learning. Play is also instrumental in fostering social skills and emotional well-being.
An Avenue for Adults to Engage With Kids Productively
The value of play in promoting and facilitating learning in children is now being given due recognition. What are the other areas wherein play helps a child grow and develop? Play is a good way to foster engagement between parent and child.
How do parents of very young kids communicate their love and support? Aside from providing for a child’s basic needs, they engage in playful exchanges and exploration with the little ones. Affective relationships developed in the home are founded on loving interactions between kids and caregivers. Play helps build these relationships.
Moreover, play offers parents many opportunities to provide gentle guidance that nurtures and encourages children to regulate by themselves. Today, families must recognise that reduced playtime between parents and kids could lead to problems in various performance areas later on in their lives.
Children develop and learn by interacting with their parents and relatives, peers and the environments they find themselves in. In a world where reduced play is showing grave consequences to both parents and children, it has become more evident that a hurried lifestyle that limits free play is putting kids at a disadvantage. It is not enough for parents to place their children in after-school programs so that they expand their skills set and learn to interact with their peers.
The power of play does not diminish with age, and young children are particularly adept at harnessing this power. You might think that play is a great tool to develop a sense of adventure and foster creativity and attention, but there is more. Play develops emotions, critical thinking skills and builds relationships as well.