PLAY – IMPORTANCE
Playing is very important for the growth of kids because it contributes to the process of learning, physical development, and social and emotional well-being of children. Games also offer a great chance for parents to get involved completely with their children. Even though the benefits derived from play for both children and parents are many, children are not getting sufficient time for play at home. There are many reasons the play time has got reduced like a hurried lifestyle, changes in family structure, and higher attention to studies and extracurricular activities at the expense of free child-centered play.
PLAY – BENEFITS
Games let children use their inventiveness and help in developing their imagination. It also boosts their skills and increases physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Playing is essential for healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact with the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. As they excel in their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges. Play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills. When children play on their own, children learn decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately involve fully in the passions they wish to pursue. In contrast to passive entertainment, play builds active, healthy bodies.
A play is fundamental to the academic environment. It has been shown to help children adjust to the school setting and even to enhance children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem-solving skills.
Advice for Parents
Parents can promote free play as a healthy, essential part of childhood.
They should emphasize that although parents can certainly monitor play for safety, a large proportion of play should be child driven rather than adult directed.
They should emphasize the advantages of active play and discourage parents from the overuse of passive entertainment (eg, television and computer games).
They should emphasize the benefits of “true toys” such as blocks and dolls, with which children use their imagination fully, over passive toys that require limited imagination.
Emphasis should be that active child-centered play is a time-tested way of producing healthy, fit young bodies.
Parents should be reminded that the cornerstones of parenting—listening, caring, and guiding through effective and appropriate discipline—and sharing pleasurable time together are the true predictors of childhood, and they serve as a springboard toward a happy, successful adulthood.