All kids love to play. As parents, one of the most important things that you can do for your kids is to encourage them to play as much as possible. Independent, unstructured play has a critical role in child development and offers a wide range of benefits.
Here are 6 reasons to let your child play:
Kids Acquire Language
It is important for adults to talk to children, but it is also critical for children to talk to other children. During unstructured play, kids have numerous opportunities to interact with one another through both verbal and nonverbal communication.
They Improve Gross and Fine Motor Skills
From running around on the playground, to building with blocks, to painting with watercolors, kids develop an extensive range of gross and fine motor skills through play.
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They Absorb Problem Solving Skills
Children don’t learn anything when adults always step in and solve problems for them. Kids must figure out how to work together to reach a solution, such as taking turns with a toy or compromising on the rules for a new game.
They Cultivate Delayed Gratification
Young children don’t grasp the concept of ‘now’ versus ‘later’. If they’re hungry, they want food now. If they’re bored, they want something interesting to happen now. Playing with other children teaches kids that sometimes they have to wait, such as standing in line for a turn on the slide.
They Improve Behavior Regulation
It is natural for kids to act impulsively. Playing with peers teaches them to regulate their behaviors so that they don’t upset or surprise people or make them uncomfortable. For example, if Bobby starts crying after Mark hits him, Mark may learn not to hit other kids.
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They Develop Improved Concentration
While kids may not be coming back to the classroom following a long morning of playing, unstructured play still does wonders for improving concentration.