January 27, 2017, Epoch Times
Today’s family is busy. They’re juggling work, school, childcare, family, friends, appointments, commitments, activities, volunteer work, and more.
Often, as life gets busy, free play gets edited out of the agenda. Not only at home, but at school as well, free play is being more commonly reduced or eliminated from the child’s day.
While the idea of play may seem simple, unnecessary, or a luxury, it is actually crucial to a child’s development.
In a 2014 report, “Well Played: The Origins and Future of Playfulness,” Gwen Gordon writes, “despite (its) impressive credentials, play remains on the margins of the broader professional discourse about health and well-being and, as a result, has remained widely unappreciated, drastically underfunded, and tragically underprioritized.”
Here are six reasons to make play a priority in your family’s schedule.
Play Teaches Emotional Intelligence
Early Childhood Education Journal published a study in 2007 that showed play, both adult-guided and otherwise, can help children gain awareness of the feelings of others. What’s more, play allows children to learn to regulate their emotions.
Play Facilitates Physical Activity
Active play encourages kids to joyfully move their bodies. Whether riding a bike, climbing a tree, playing tag, or making believe, active play does a body good.
Play is Essential for Healthy Brain Development
According to PsychCentral.com, 75 percent of brain development occurs after birth. Play allows for connections to develop between nerve cells, fostering the development of gross and fine motor skills and, later, sound decision making skills.
Play Encourages Imagination
Make believe, role playing, storytelling, building, creating, and all manner of imaginative play allows children to explore the world outside of them and within them, trying on different scenarios for size, and tapping into their creative imagination.
Play Enhances Communication Skills
Whether sharing ideas through role play or deciding on the rules of a game, children communicate with one another while playing. They learn to understand both verbal and non verbal communication, consider each other’s perspective, deal with conflict, and enjoy kindness.
Obviously, play is fun. We could all use more fun and childhood should be colored with fun.
Rather than being tossed aside or simply not considered at all, play should be a priority of childhood.