Children are constantly learning and one of the most common ways a child learns is through their playtime. Children learn how to interact with one another and adults during playtime, they learn how to prioritise, how to organise and so much more. Playing can involve exploring through hearing, sight, touch, taste and feel; imagination; imitation; and just plain fun. Playing is vital for building a child’s imagination, fine and gross motor skills, social skills, emotional development and intelligence.
Researchers have demonstrated that children can imitate not only what they experience in real life, but also what they see in books, especially colourful picture books. Having a variety of picture books for children between the age of 4-5 years old will speedily help to develop their literacy and life skills. Children who often participate in storytelling and singing helps in their language development.
Playtime also aids kids to begin learning basic arithmetic skills as they try to manipulate items. It’s also imperative for children to be able to play together without adult intrusion or interference so they can learn decision-making skills as well as problem-solving skills among themselves.
Playing through imagination is significant to the mental development of a growing child. Children’s play include dress-ups, cowboys and Indians, and anything else they can dream up. Playing in this manner helps children figure out various roles and how to perform certain life skills. It also aids your child to gain some level of security independently.
A child’s gross motor skills are developed as children crawl, walk, run, jump, climb, skip, throw and catch. Fine motor skills are developed when children learn to hold a spoon, stack blocks, pick up food with fingers, and colouring. Motor skills are used regularly during playtime and constantly improve over time.
Very young kids do not play with other children. As they grow they first participate in parallel play where children play around each other, but not interacting together. However, things begin to change around age 3 and children begin interacting with each other. Each of these steps is necessary for learning how to socialise with other children and adults. This play will help children learn to share, take turns, resolve conflict, and depend on others.
Finally, play helps a child understand certain emotions. Play gives opportunities to act out sad events, scary thoughts, and joyous things. Children start learning how to control their emotions by understanding what they mean.
Children have a great capacity to learn and begin the minute they are born. Providing your children with ample opportunities for play will help to develop them mentally and physically.