Thursday, July 14, 2016

Benefits of Play

Benefits of Play

            Sometimes parents view play as of little value. They sit their young children down to write letters in workbooks or to watch an educational series of videos. While these activities may be of some benefit, play is just as useful in helping young children learn and grow as more structured activities.

            When your child is playing, he is actually learning and growing. Play teaches children about the world and their place in it, and helps build the imagination, physical skills, social skills, and awareness of spatial relationships.
            Sandra Russ, professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University and author of Play in Child Development and Psychotherapy (Lawrence Erlbaum, publisher), believes there are two benefits to children's pretend play. Play helps children generate different ideas about things. They make up stories and use objects to represent other things.

The second benefits is that play helps children process emotions. More research supports the first benefit than the second, but child therapists have many clinical reports about how play helps children deal with emotional problems.
            It's important that children have time to just play. Russ says, "Most children, if they have time to play, just play naturally and enjoy it. But many children do not have time to play because they are overscheduled."

Young children are often enrolled in dance, music or sports programs, but they benefit as much from play as from these organized activities. You probably won't have much problem getting your child to play, but if you aren't sure how to start, encourage play by providing dress up clothes, toy phones, dishes, boxes, wooden and foam blocks and other kinds of toys used for building and creating to stimulate imagination. Engaging toys available such as balls, beanbags and jump ropes will get your child moving and help relieve stress while building coordination.

Join your child in play, but let him take the lead. This shows him that you are interested in what he is doing and are willing to have fun together. Play has many benefits. Set aside time each day for a little play.

No comments:

Post a Comment