The importance of play in early childhood promotes children to explore and develop cognitive & physical skills that will become useful later in life.
As parents, we want our children to not only succeed in life but to thrive at their fullest potential as well.
As hard as we try to give them the tools they need for a successful upbringing, sometimes the most important thing we can give them is the time to play and use their imagination.
From apps to books and everything in between, there is nothing more educational than learning through “doing” which is what happens when children play.
Playing alone can teach children:
- Learn to read, write and spell
- Learn mathematical skills
- Learn to solve problems
- Develop independence
- Become musical, sporty and artistic
While screen time is ok in moderation, (especially these educational shows you can watch on Netflix), It is also really important to let them be bored, pick up a toy and let their imagination soar.
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The Importance Of Play
When children lose playtime, they tend to develop learning difficulties. Children should be developing their skills naturally, at their own pace and not through many scheduled activities. Overscheduled children are very busy and often stressed out, which in turn does not help them learn.
The cognitive, physical skills that children develop through free play are invaluable.
Strengthen gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills should be developed before fine motor skills and children who do not have good gross motor skills are less likely to participate in sports during their childhood and adolescence.
Gross motor skills include:
- Standing, running, climbing, pedalling, jumping, throwing, rolling, catching, balancing, kicking, hopping, skipping, hanging, stepping and riding.
Fine motor skills are more precise and take more time to master. When fine motor skills are mastered, children are able to hold pencils and write letters.
Fine motor skills include:
- Drawing pictures, lego building, cutting, puzzles, getting dressed, brushing teeth and building towers.
Playtime stimulated the brain for proper growth and improves memory. During playtime, children concentrate, solve problems and sharpen their overall thinking skills.
Pretend play or fantasy play teaches children to regulate their emotions and develop their reasoning skills. Children also develop language skills and exploration skills which are important later in life, especially math and science classes at school.
Toys And Games That Promote Imagination
Brain Blox Wooden Building Blocks for Kids
Great way to build up brainpower! These building blocks can help your child with math, physics, and engineering concepts. This is a great STEM toy, and makes a great gift too.
Science & Crafts For Children By Green Kids Crafts
With Green Kids Crafts, you’ll receive a themed box of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) kits every month for kids ages 3-10. It’s a great way for kids to learn about how to make the world more environmentally friendly.
Puzzles For Kids
Puzzles are great for developing problem-solving skills. The fine motor skills needed to place the pieces together also grow stronger when puzzles are completed.
You can grab puzzles at the dollar tree or Amazon
wooden blocks are great for building all sorts of different things. when children are building, they are solving problems and using their imagination on this open-ended activity.
Kids Modeling Clay
Pound, stretch and break modelling clay for hours of fun all while fulfilling all the sensory requirements your children need. The best thing about play clay is that it can be used over and over and over again.