As it is rightly said, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Play is equally important to keep up with a child’s developmental milestones – Physical, Cognitive, Socio-Emotional and Language. Here are a few reasons for a child to play;
- Imagination and Creativity: A kid learns directional concepts, new perspective and explores a creative approach that excites him/her to try something new, also develop a hobby. It boosts the imagination and creativity of a child, examples include…
- Role plays (Imagination).
- Processed art where the result is not certain (Creativity).
- Teamwork: Playing in a team not always requires one to lead – but ‘playing’ itself teaches the child to be selfless and supportive. It helps the child to provide his/her inputs when required and respect other’s inputs as well. As a result, while playing in teams children learn to empathize, coordinate and resolve spats if any.
- Sharing: Sharing is a vital characteristic to inculcate in one’s child since early childhood to make him/her a better person. Sharing is challenging though for kids at a tender age. However, you can play the part by distributing toys, stationary materials in a way that encourages them to share with their siblings/friends. Appreciate them when sharing is the outcome. Thus, sharing makes a child humble, less stubborn and friendlier.
- Body Balance: Body balance is an aspect of dealing with the physical developmental milestone in children. Play makes body balance easy, keeps them active and helps coordinate multiple actions such as jump, run, and climb and so on. Responsiveness to stimuli is your mind in accordance to your body, how alert your child seems with respect to opposing action just in case to catch a ball or balance while cycling over a puddle. There are two types of Body balance;
- Static Balance: The ability to balance when the body is still. E.g. Freeze & Statue games.
- Dynamic Balance: The ability to balance when the body is in motion or moving while playing. E.g. Cycling, Hopscotch game, etc.
- Leadership skills: A child is naturally innocent and that is what helps him/her make unbiased opinions and keep them forward. Children develop leadership qualities faster when they are playing in groups. It gives them an opportunity to hear out other children and share their thoughts and feelings with them. Leadership skills in children are more likely to develop when they practise the following –
- Voice out during play – COMMUNICATION SKILLS
- Make decisions merely in terms of trying and playing a new toy or activity indicates passion to learn – DECISION MAKING
- Try helping themselves and others if stuck while play before seeking help from adults – PROBLEM-SOLVING
- Joy & Happiness:
“Play is the language of children. Have you spoken it to them lately?”-Vince Gowmon.
Joy is when you put your heart to play, it is a choice made by a child. Whereas, happiness is the outcome that comes of play. Play is a stress buster as it tricks your child’s mind experience ‘downtime’ and at the same time feel accomplished. For instance, completing a Jigsaw puzzle, winning a game, etc.
- Self Confidence & Self Esteem:
Development of self confidence and self esteem in a child starts at an early age and has a lot to do with parenting. An important part of parenting is how well parents spend their time with their children. Play is the purest form of engaging with the children; which helps in developing a good parent-child relationship.
Prof. John Bowlby, a pioneer in the study of parent-child attachment, believed that parent-child relationship has enormous influence in shaping a child’s self-esteem, his/her expectations of other people and the view of the world in general. Acts of self confidence include;
- Children performing in the Annual day of school (Stage fright accomplished).
- Show sportsmanship after losing a game.
Play brings out the best in a child, leading to personality development individually, in groups and with the society at large. Sunday Bricks LEGO workshops are based on the STEAM approach and teach children via play. Learning through Play is our way!