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Friday, 6 May 2011

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" - Anon.
Or girl. There is a lot more to this quote than we may first think. Throughout our childhood, the experiences and lessons we learn from playing have a vital role in our adult life.
 "It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them." - Leo Buscaglia, Author
Researchers have found that a child who doesn't engage in play, has a 20-30% smaller brain than others and can also experience loneliness, downheartedness, unjoyfulness, and weakness.

Children that don't play are often unable to be social and play with friends, have low self-confidence, and suffer from shyness which can continue in later life.

The Importance of Play
It is through play that children develop essential life skills. They learn how to interact with their peers and adults, how to choose friends and enemies, they learn how to run around, play team games and sports, they learn to be creative, to adapt and develop new skills, and they learn a whole range of emotions.

It has been said that children who are encouraged to express themselves freely through play are more able to adapt and learn new skills and perform better at school.

Play allows young children to be "in charge"
In their everyday lives, they're small and powerless, always being told what to do, and how to do it. When they are with their friends, without an adult around, they're literally running the show!

Play helps children learn about the world in which they live

Children love to investigate and discover, test their theories, explore cause and effect, societal roles and family values. Such is the importance of play, that there's virtually no area of life about which it can't teach a child something.

Play builds self-esteem
Children will often play at something they know they can do well, at which they can be successful, which makes them feel a sense of achievement and builds up their self-esteem.

Play builds social skills
Children first practice their interactive skills by playing with inanimate objects, like cuddly toys, and then build on this foundation later, playing with other children as they learn to share, take turns, assert themselves and begin to empathise with others. Research also shows that children whose parents play with them ultimately develop superior social skills.

Play helps children to work out their feelings
The importance of dealing with difficult or unpleasant emotions is immense. A child who's worried about going to the doctors for his jabs, for example, may deal with the anxiety by setting up a doctors clinic for his teddy bears.

Play helps with language development
Play encourages children to communicate. Think of the vast number of words a toddler uses whilst playing, many of them repeatedly, enhancing their language skills.

Play allows children to develop into maturing adults
A child can pretend to be all sorts of things in play - a doctor, a train driver, a parent, all valuable life lessons.
Don't forget the importance of stimulating your child's creativity and imagination; from making a birthday card, building a sandcastle, taking an order in their imaginary restaurant to dressing up as a swamp monster, a king or queen - these all allow children to stretch the limits of their world and experience the fun in make-believe, which enhances their creative ability which will prove to be an invaluable skill as an adult.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." - Plato, Greek philosopher

1 comment:

Chuggington trains said...

Now we can understand how crucial is to offer kids plenty of toys to play with, thanks.

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