Children love playing because it’s fun, which is true, but play is also how children learn about the world. It helps them learn about themselves and each other. It’s as essential and healthy as vegetables and getting a good night’s sleep. Therefore, playing is listed as one of the basic rights of every child in the United Nations.
There is no specific way to play as long it involves sensory play. It can be anything from playing a video game to playing with LEGOS.
Why Is Play Important for Children?
1. Cognitive Growth
Play is essential for healthy brain development. Unstructured play is where kids create their games without taking directions from elders. Doing so increases neural connections in their brain. These connections are for thinking, and play also helps strengthen the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the area that influences problem-solving skills and thought processes.
2. Imagination and Creativity
Play stimulates the imagination. Therefore, children create imaginary games and get lost in their make-believe worlds. They come up with their games with their own rules and adapt different rules if needed. These unstructured plays help them develop skills to adapt and overcome any situation in life.
3. Improved Literacy
Children are born eager to communicate. Since childhood, they build language and literacy skills through interactions and play with parents or siblings. Babies learn new words when elders describe something. These interactions help children improve listening skills and learn about sounds in words.
4. Emotional and Behavioral Benefit
When adults get overwhelmed, they retreat to their favored activities. They sweat it out at the gym, sing or go for a walk around the block. Children are the same, and play helps reduce anxiety in children. It also boosts self-esteem and joy.
Play can be an excellent teacher itself. It teaches children how to navigate their world with confidence. They learn how to work in groups, how to negotiate and solve conflicts, not to mention how to speak up for themselves.
5. Promotes Physical Fitness
Children’s bodies are full of energy, which is why you’ll find them active almost all the time. They constantly need physical play, which includes any play that gets them moving. That teaches them how to use their bodies and improves the mind-to-body connection in the brain. Regular active play can:
- Develop motor skills.
- Develop balance.
- Develop flexibility.
- Improve bone density.
- Sharpen reflexes.
Centerra Ranch Montessori School believes in learning activities that keep play and work in balance to keep the children interested. We use non-conventional methods to ensure your child nourishes in a stress-free environment where he develops a passion for learning.
Visit our website or schedule a tour at our school in Katy, Texas.