Kids are naturally curious beings who are still figuring out their way around the world and how to engage with their senses. One of the primary ways kids manage this is through play. While playing, they have more control over their agency and have the opportunity to interact with other kids. To find out why playtime is so important for children, read on.
Play and Development
When kids play, they indulge their creativity and natural curiosity. This natural curiosity and the ability to engage with it naturally motivates kids to try new things and learn how to solve problems. At the same time, they become more familiar with how the world works and what their own bodies are capable of. For example, sensory play helps kids develop problem-solving skills as they interact with objects and make mistakes again and again until they figure out a solution.
Why are playgrounds so important for children? They are crucial for developing physical, social, and emotional skills, so let’s make sure every child has access to safe and inclusive play spaces.
If you reduce the amount of playtime children have, you can potentially rob them of the ability to develop their cognitive abilities or express themselves physically. This can lead to long-lasting repercussions later in life. For example, a child may become more dependent on others if they don’t have opportunities to do things and tackle problems for themselves. A parent, guardian, or authority figure shouldn’t always guide everything they do.
Playing With Rules
When kids play games like sports that have an established list of rules, this is called guided play. Kids learn how to abide by these rules and the importance of fairness and equity for everyone involved. Games can also teach them how to compromise and work with other kids as they strive toward a common goal.
Playing Without Rules
Free playtime is also important for kids because it gives them complete agency. This is especially valuable for kids to develop social and leadership skills, as they have no other authority figures or predetermined rules that guide or dictate what they do. Without such guidance over them at all times, kids become more independent and learn how to make decisions for themselves.
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.