For some parents, they could view play as often unhygienic, dangerous and detrimental to the health of the child as it exposes them to environmental hazards and unpredictable risks.
However, these parents should know that play has been incorporated to be an important part of the list for helpful activities in the development of a child. Parents should understand that play is always a part of life which is inherent from birth to adulthood.
If you think your child does not deserve a moment under the rain or a time with friends running under Mr. Sun, then think again! Below is a list of reasons why children need to play and engage in playful activities:
- Play lets children discover new skills. When in a situation with playmates, the play alone could initiate the use of the sense and the physical attributes in order to get through a situation. Hide and seek for instance, would enhance the child’s ability to critically think of a hiding place that could not be easily thought of by the others.
- The child developments negotiation skills during a playful engagement with others.
- Physical development is boosted when a child gets into play. The act of running, walking and jumping is already a form of exercise that strengthens the muscles and the bones.
- Play enhances appreciation of the world around. You child will be exposed to the beauty of nature as he runs through the green grass or feel the tickling raindrops unto his face.
- A child’s play could permeate the imitation of roles which instills sense of responsibility. The child can act as a teacher, a fireman or a doctor. This vividly indicates the understanding of the child of the importance of other people around him.
- A child’s play is a time to laugh with the others and laughter has always been considered the best medicine.
- Play could instill experimentation and resourcefulness. Children could make use of the things around them and development their other functions aside from what these things have been intended to perform.
- Peer-relationship is developed as children learn to respect others’ needs and wants.
- Play enhances the child’s ability to face new challenges and skills. Chasing the butterflies or just picking out the best flower in the garden could help in boosting the ability of your child to deal with the world around him.
Allowing children to play is allowing their growth beyond your homes and the four walls of the classroom. It does not matter if your child goes home with a stained shirt sometimes. What matters is that the stain could be worth a life lesson and thousand meaningful learning experiences. So now that you have understood why children need to play, let them have some fun now.
This article was first published in The New Age Parents Online Magazine Apr/May 2010 issue Page 22