Who doesn’t enjoy watching kids play? Watching them learn new activities, try new sports and experience the world through untainted eyes? Kids are energetic and excited as they build their physical strength, increase their cognitive ability, and grow more confident while engaging their imaginations. And it’s so much more rewarding for parents than parking everyone in front of a TV screen and hoping for the best.
In my own line of work, I’ve had the pleasure of being able to observe hundreds of kids learning new skills and enjoying the physical side of fun playtime activities. Here are some of the advantages of allowing kids to play more.
Play Promotes the Development of Imagination and Confidence
Through physical exercise, kids are given the freedom and security to try new things, develop their confidence and conquer their fears. It’s been demonstrated time and time again that children who are physically active and confident in body movements have improved self-esteem levels, which not surprisingly flows hand in hand with a greater sense of accomplishment.
New exercises require lots of practice, but there is always a reward at the end – whether it’s completing the monkey bars, going bouldering or doing that first somersault. Once a kid achieves that, their confidence skyrockets and they’re ready for bigger challenges.
Play Promotes the Development of Athletic Skills and Key Motor Neutrons
Children learn and grow often without anyone realising it. Whey they first touch their toes, understand spatial awareness or master co-ordination and balance. Whenever kids play with a ball, they are strengthening their fine-motor skill development. During dance exercises, they learn about how to recognise a beat and keep in rhythm.
Becoming physically fit has many associated benefits. Kids that participate in physical activities, such as sports and dance, and play games that boost endurance, muscular strength, cardiovascular health, flexibility and body flexibility, are less likely to suffer from fatigue.
Play Encourages Teamwork and Promotes Good Sportsmanship
Through play, kids get to engage with each other in a non-competitive, safe, social environment. Whether they win or lose, there’s always something to learn.
For instance, activities like playing with parachutes in a sterile gym setting are not very effective when kids aren’t participating. In order to create a fun game with a parachute, everyone needs to take parts to create “waves” and facilitate the well-known “cat and mouse” game. Via team sports, including rugby, hockey, and soccer, kids learn to build from the strength of others and understand that success comes from cheering others on. All team sports require kids to work together to beat the other side.
Play Promotes the Development of Strong Bonds between Children and Their Parents
When parents demonstrate their fun side by doing jumping jacks, engaging in sing-alongs or throwing balls, they connect with their kids in a new way while also teaching them key physical skills. Parents that are actively involved in a child’s playtime tend to form stronger bonds than parents who aren’t. Kids also learn to have more respect for parents who pay more attention to them during the early years.
Play Can Make Children Happy
Childhood development experts from around the world will tell you that kid’s play is children’s work. The truth is that play allows kids to socialise and develop key cognitive abilities, master new skills and learn about the human value of others. Play also provide the ability to teach daily routines and the importance of following an active lifestyle and eating healthily whilst still having fun.