What It Means to Give the Gift of Play To A Child
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:
- Expanded vocabulary
- Improved literacy skills
- Physical skills
- Social skills
- Cognitive skills
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.
It’s even been proven that cutting recess didn’t help test scores at all. In fact, kids remember more after play breaks.
Everyone needs more play, including children. It’s through play that children learn lessons and create memories that last a lifetime.
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