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To some, seeing children play, be it alone or in groups, is just that- playing. But as it turns out, there are actually physical, emotional, as well as social benefits that kids get just from playing. Playing is one of, if not the best ways for children to learn all manner of things that they might not figure out from simply talking to parents or loved ones. Play is actually essential to children’s development because it’s able to contribute to children’s well-being in so many different ways. Read along as we distinguish between play’s varied ways to help further development in children.
In Building Social Skills
Just by playing, children as young as two can learn how to cooperate, share, take turns, develop leadership skills, and even to resolve conflicts. This happens because as children become toddlers and start interacting with others in their age group, group play becomes more of a focus. When kids start playing in groups, they slowly discover the importance of social rules and even cultural rules. Verbal and body language are introduced around this time as well. Some of the games children might play in groups are: working with building sets, making believe, using peg toys, and much more. Educational building block sets may also be used in a group setting.
The Physical Benefits
Physical play helps build gross motor skills, fine motor skills, self-help skills, and can aid in getting past physical challenges. Of course, physical play helps build strong, healthy bodies for kids, and keeps them fit. This reduces the risk of childhood obesity, diabetes, and asthma. Physical play also helps in developing children’s motor skills. Motor skills are classified as anywhere between small and large muscle movements- anything from holding a spoon to walking or running. As children get older and start going to school, the benefits of physical play even pay off educationally. A 2009 study in the Journal of School Health found that the more physical activity tests that children pass, the more likely they are to do well on academic tests. Some physical games children might play are hopscotch, hide and seek, kick ball, swimming, and countless others.
The Emotional Benefits
Emotionally, playing can help a child have fun, enjoy life, relax, release some steam or energy, and can also be a form of self-expression. When children make up games with rules involved, their self-esteem goes up when they’ve reached the goals they’ve set while playing. Playing also allows kids to work through their struggles, stress or anger, becoming a therapeutic release in a way for them. Finally, play simply brings delight and joy to children’s lives. By creating an overall happy experience while playing, children learn coping skills and how to relax, creating positive development that will help them tackle all sorts of problems as they get older.
It may not look like much to some, but it’s safe to say that play is much more than just play when it comes to making happy and healthy kids. For more information on play, visit Laser Peg‘s website today.