Play

Play: Why is it important?

Children are like clay. At the young tender age, they tend to mould themselves based on their interaction with the world around them, just as a lump of clay does.

The development that takes place in a child while growing is impacted to a large extent by the interactions that happen with him/her. This is the reason why young pups or kittens seem to be very playful at this tender age. Obvious reason is that everything around them is new and exciting and they want to touch, feel, taste and see.

In humans, it is absolutely important for a child to have interactions with other humans of different ages. Not that less interaction causes a problem, but the more they play, the more they understand. Their brain starts to register impulses and creates appropriate response.

Play time also helps in developing their social and emotional competence, physical development and creative development. Here’s how,

Social Competence
During play time, a child gets to communicate in both verbal and non-verbal ways, trying to understand what is expected from him/her when his peers or adults talk to them or signal them for an action.

Play time is crucial for a child to develop and express feelings, like laughter, anger, sadness which play an important role in their overall behavioural growth.

The understanding of being good or bad in comparison to older children, comes from being engaged in spontaneous or structured play activities. These opportunities to monitor and discriminate among feelings and emotions contribute to children’s beliefs about their own capacity.

Physical Development
Development of fine and gross motor skills in conjunction with body awareness in children is a direct contribution of play. By learning to use writing tools, it initiates the development of fine motor skills in children. However, the development of gross motor skills happens in a completely different manner. By practising to hop on different feet is a significant start of this development in children.

Children feel more physically confident, safe, and well-balanced when they use their bodies during play.

Creative Development
In order to initiate the process of creative development in a child, play-time performs a crucial role where the child feels secure in the environment of a playgroup. They feel free to create a world of their own in which they get the freedom to decide the interactions that they want to have and rearrange the things in a way that they see fit, hence encouraging them to use their creativity in a group environment.

‘Play’ and its role, is as deep-rooted as it can be in a child’s life Albeit, as children grow older and become mature, the significance of ‘play’ also undergoes changes that ultimately bears a strong presence in their development as emotionally, physically and mentally strong individuals.

Sources:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182
https://www.parents.com/fun/sports/exercise/the-importance-of-play/
https://literacytrust.org.uk/resources/10-reasons-why-play-important/

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