As a parent, you can never underestimate the importance of play for your child. It may seem to be nothing, but children who play house, fight imaginary dragons, or build towers are actually developing crucial life skills at the same time. In fact, the skills they learn through play will follow them into adulthood and better prepare them emotionally and mentally for the challenges yet to come.
The unfortunate news, according to child development experts, is that free playtime has begun to steadily shrink for children compared to just a few decades ago. Just a couple generations ago, a parent could support a growing family with his or her single income alone while the other parent stayed home to raise the children. Today, it is more common for both parents to leave the home and work full-time jobs to support the same size family and home. For this reason, children are beginning to see less and less of their parents and have less time to just play.
It might surprise you that many teachers take recess away from schoolchildren when they believe the child acted inappropriately. However, denying a child time to play, outside or otherwise, may be counterproductive. The best quality wholesale baby toys suppliers from Little Smiles may be what you need to keep his or her play at the right levels and encourage him or her to find patterns and fun in the world around him or her. In fact, you can click here for more info on the type of sensory toys and play opportunities that you can give your child to better his or her future.
According to a study taken in 2009 by the journal Pediatrics, children behave better in the classroom when they have the chance to burn some energy on the playground. Researchers compared teacher ratings of eight- and nine-year-old children’s behaviour in schools with and without recess periods. Children with more than 15 minutes a day of breaks behaved better across the board during academic time but only 60% of children receive that much time each day.
Play inside the home, at the park, or at school is a great way for a child to learn how to follow rules. If you can, fill your home with sensory toys that teach him or her how to connect one action with another. This is a crucial way for him or her to discover the rules of cause and effect, which can help him or her play more productively with other children. Free play and adult-guided play can help preschoolers learn awareness of other children’s feelings. This type of play can also teach your child how to regulate his or her emotions, a skill some adults do not have. By introducing him or her to games and toys with rules and the ability to lose, he or she can begin to understand that winning is not a given and that it is possible and perfectly acceptable to sometimes lose.
No matter the number of children you have, you cannot fail to allow them all the time they need to play. Remember, much of the world is new to a child, and every time that he or she plays with a toy or meets a new child his or her age is another moment of learning for him or her. The choices you make for him or her now can and will affect his or her own choices as an adult.