“I just want to play!” – Why Is Play Important
“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” – Diane Ackerman
I am sure you have heard your child say, “I just want to play” time and time again. As parents, we always want the best for our children and at the same time, we have so many expectations of them. I know, I am a parent too! However, sometimes we have to sit back and allow children the freedom of play and exploration as this is how they learn best. After all, the curriculum we follow for young children is all about promoting learning through play.
Children identify their likes and dislikes through play and develop a sense of who they are as an individual. They feel empowered and important, and what they are interested in is valued. They also learn about their own abilities and challenges, build positive relationships with others, learn how to share and take turns, and also how to be confident and independent.
Children should be introduced to and encouraged to be resourceful J If you have old clothes, pieces of cloth, empty boxes in different shapes and sizes, plastic water bottles, or even old pots and pans – don’t throw them away! Instead, reuse and recycle. Watch what your children can create with a little imagination. Think about forts and dens, rocket ships to go on space adventures, their very own marching band, and the most loved of all; pretending to be mummy and daddy by dressing up in your old clothes.
Play provides many opportunities for children to communicate to others, including adults. There are so many fascinating things you can learn about children’s thoughts and the way they see the world when speaking to them during their play. There are also many teaching and bonding moments for you as well. The next time your child is out in the garden, digging in the soil and filling pails with water, speak to them about what they are doing. Ask them if they know about the animals that live there. Do they understand how the trees grow? Use this as an opportunity to encourage your children to develop their communication, share their thoughts and ideas, and in turn you can also introduce them to new words.
If you are looking for confident and resilient children who will never be afraid of new experiences and exploring new environments, allow your children the freedom of play where they will always learn to think outside the box and be safe risk-takers as they continue to explore and develop their abilities and overcome challenges.
JINS Sunmarke JVT