Play is one of the greatest gifts to give children
Have you ever watched children play? There’s a joy on their faces that nothing else can quite match. They’re happy and having fun.
To most people, it might seem like they’re not doing anything important. The truth is, they’re actually learning, even if they’re just pretending they’re space aliens on a faraway planet.
One of the best gifts you could ever give your child is the freedom to explore their imaginations and play. It’s a gift that continues to help them even after they’ve grown into adulthood.
Play’s For More Than Fun
Whether it’s recess with friends or board games with the family, play is always more than just fun. In most cases, kids don’t even realize they’re learning anything at all, which is the point. After all, would you rather learn by playing a fun game or sitting in a classroom?
Dr. Laurel Bongiorno believes parents should never underestimate the power of play. It’s been proven that children develop skills, such as:
All of this happens while a child is laughing and enjoying time with friends and family. The earlier play begins, the more beneficial it is.
Children Stay Focused
When children see something as difficult, they may not be interested. Play is something enjoyable, leaving children open to educational opportunities, both for academic and life skills. The gift of play helps kids learn how to focus. Whether they’re pretending or trying to win a board game, they’re paying attention and absorbing valuable lessons at the same time.
Play-Based Learning Helps Children More
Children used to spend much of their early years, even at school, playing. From blocks and matching games to free play during recess, kids were encouraged to learn naturally. Experts believed a bigger focus on structured academics at an early age, such as 4 and 5, was a better approach.
Taking away play-based learning has been found to actually slow cognitive and emotional development. It may even cause kids to not want to learn at all. Play encourages exploration, teaches social skills and makes children more eager to learn, even in a traditional classroom setting.
Everyone needs more play, including children. It’s through play that children learn lessons and create memories that last a lifetime.
SimplyFun makes giving the gift of play easy. Visit SimplyFun.com.
The holidays are supposed to be one of the best times of the year, but for most people, it’s also one of the most stressful times.
Stress doesn’t have to rule the holiday season. What if laughter, joy and happiness were the season staples? It’s time to add in some fun and play.
You’d be surprised at how your mood changes when the family gathers together without any stress. Setting aside some time to play and laugh transforms a chaotic season into a memorable one.
Reduce The Stress For Everyone
Stress and depression are all too common during the holidays. Part of the problem is because people try to carry the world on their shoulders. With cooking, cleaning, buying gifts and all the other preparations, it’s easy to feel more stress than anything else.
The problem with stress is you miss out on all the good stuff. This can also taint how much fun everyone around you has too. Set aside some time to let all the stress go. A regular game night, even during the holidays, reduces stress not only for you, but for the entire family.
Start A New Holiday Tradition
You probably already have holiday traditions. Why not start a new tradition? Try games to get everyone in the spirit while still having fun. Traditions help bring families together and create lasting memories for parents and children. Not only will the family be excited about food and gifts, but they’ll look forward to special holiday game nights throughout the season.
Make The Holidays Wonderful Again
While the holidays mean different things to different people, the one thing that holds true is the holidays are for bonding and togetherness. It’s easy to get caught up in everything else and forget to stop and enjoy time together. When you’re playing games, you’re getting back to the reason for the season. And that is the entire purpose of the holiday season. You’re spending quality time together that creates lasting memories. Of course, winning doesn’t hurt either.
Make game night a must all year and get back to what’s most important – family.
Find a wide selection of games at SimplyFun.com
What helps make you who you are today? The more you think about it, the more you realize that it’s specific memories, traditions and moments in your life that have shaped you into the adult you are now.
There’s a reason why family time is so important. It’s these beautiful, funny and sometimes crazy moments that create lasting memories for the entire family.
What you might not realize right now is how vital those memories are to your children. Something as simple as a weekly family game night could help make your child happier and more confident as an adult.
Create Lasting Connections
Family vacations, holiday traditions and even just helping them with their homework regularly all create lasting connections. By creating family memories early on, you’re creating connections that bind the family together. You’re also showing children how to create their own memories with friends and form lasting friendships and relationships later in life.
Make Children Feel Involved
For a busy adult, playtime might seem boring or too time consuming at first, but make the time. Playing games a few nights a week or making sure everyone sits down and talks during dinner is vital for creating family memories. These memories make children feel involved.
Instead of feeling like a child, they feel like a crucial part of the family. By involving them, you’re helping develop people skills, such as interacting with others, making decisions and communicating their thoughts. According to actress Marilu Henner, memories provide lasting lessons that children and adults take with them into the future.
Develop A Stronger Sense Of Self
Children have one massive advantage over adults, besides nap time and no job – imagination. By creating family memories, you’re empowering their imaginations. Episodic memory has been linked with the ability to imagine one’s future. So when your child starts thinking about what their future holds, the memories you’ve helped them make so far will have a large impact on what they imagine.
These memories create a clear sense of self, both now and in the future. Positive memories help boost confidence, communication skills, imagination and much more.
Start Creating Family Memories
Even the smallest moments, such as baking cookies together or laughing over a board game, create lasting memories for the entire family. Help shape the future by creating memories with your children today. They may not realize the impact right now, but they’ll thank you for the memories and traditions as they get older.
Image: Caleb Jones
Don’t Mix It! gives your children a hands on approach to sorting at a materials recycling facility, also known as an MRF. Here are some great recycling facts with you to talk about with your little ones. Let’s reduce, reuse, and recycle together.
Reduce, reuse and recycle in Don’t Mix It! It’s sorting time at the recycling center and each player has their own sorting board to separate the glass, metal, paper and plastic. Place your tiles so the bin walls connect with only one type of recyclable inside. If the recyclables mix, you won’t earn points. So don’t mix it! Shop Now.
STEM based careers are projected to grow by more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022. How do you plan to prepare your children for their future lives in potential STEM careers? SimplyFun Playologist Mary Kettering shares her experience with how SimplyFun games can give kids the STEM head start they need.
Interested in helping kids prepare for their future? Click here to learn more about becoming a SimplyFun Playologist.
SimplyFun Playologist Mary Kettering lives in Ashland, Ohio with her husband, Brian, daughter, Cici and son, Asher. Family favorite hobbies include playing games (of course), reading books, playing outside and dancing. Mary is also an accomplished musician and she is the Principal Second Violinist with the Ashland Symphony and the Fiddler Player/Singer with the Northwest Territory Bluegrass Band.