‘Play’ is an important aspect that should be at the heart of every child’s lives as it is a vital doorway of their wellbeing, learning and educational development. Playtime is a universal activity that takes many forms with which every culture engages in. During the early years, children go through several significant stages of learning and development which provide a healthy foundation for the rest of their lives.
We should never underestimate the value of ‘play’ as there are many advantages linked which develops the whole-child, such as, physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits. Children learn vital positive skills like, sharing, compromising, friendship, coping with frustration and how to follow guidance. It’s also known to improve memory skills, increase literacy skills, inspire an active imagination, concentration, resilience, communication, motivation and self-discipline. It teaches perseverance, happiness and replenishes negative feelings with positivity.
Even from birth, babies begin to pick up the basics of interaction and socialisation. Parents can take a hands-on approach to help encourage an enjoyment in playing by interacting with their child; ensuring they have opportunities to explore a balanced variety of interests and be creative in a safe and secure environment.
In essence, child-centred ‘play’ (either structured or unstructured) is an excellent way of bonding, having fun, being expressive and learn about your child, as well as they can learn about themselves and the world around them – an essential aspect of parenting and a cherished part of childhood.
If you are looking for ways to engage your child through play time activities, visit our free online resources to help parents and careers create a great home learning environment.