The Power of Play
Everyone probably remembers playing as a child, whether they were swinging at recess, playing hide-and-seek with neighbors, or acting out something from your imagination with a friend. Experts agree that play is more than just fun for kids, it comes with all kinds of benefits! Play, which is a great source of creativity for children, helps with brain and muscle development, learning, and many other aspects of their lives. Two articles I found elaborate on these benefits and explain the importance of play! I also listed 3 play activities to do at The Children’s Museum here in Wilmington!
An article by Bright Horizons says that play helps children understand their world and how their bodies work. Play is a voluntary act that children engage in. It reduces stress and nurtures children’s relationships with themselves and others. Play can be freeing for children as well; they get to decide what to act out and what activities they want to do. Play can be a form of social behavior and it also develops skills in various areas: cognitive, physical, and communication.
Children require open-ended, unscheduled times to play. This article suggests using hands-on materials during play, such as blocks, sand, water, dirt, balls, child-sized wheelbarrows, and small shovels. These objects don’t have a specific play purpose like others, such as a doll or toy truck. Instead, children can exercise their creativity and make up their own games with these items. Don’t be afraid to engage in play with your child and join in the fun!
In a Fisher-Price article, Kathleen Alfano says that children can learn how to get along with others, sort out conflicts, and practice language skills through play. Play encourages independence and self-esteem in children by giving them power to choose during play. Alfano explains that while structured activities are part of growing up, young children should also have time to play in a safe environment.
3 play activities for kids:
Neighborhood Market - play at this grocery store exhibit to boost imagination
Ahoy! Wilmington - board a pirate ship and dig for treasure with your crew!
Animal Alley- play as groomer, trainer, and pet owner
Play has an integral place in children’s development and parents should make sure their child has a safe, fun environment to use their imagination. Children enjoy play no matter their age, and the benefits can impact several aspects of their lives. Parents, get involved in play with your children and see how much fun it can be!
Lyndsey Watkins is a senior at UNCW. She is majoring in English with a concentration in professional writing and a minor in journalism. firstname.lastname@example.org