This is a sponsored guest post.
Any healthy adult knows that life can’t be all work and no play. So, why would you think the opposite is true for your child?
Play is an essential part of a child’s development. Far from wasted time spent enjoying themselves and being silly, play can teach a child so much about themselves, test the limits of their imagination and prepare them for the next stage in their life.
Whether playing by themselves or with others, playtime is one of the most formative experiences of early childhood. Here are just a few skills that playtime can help develop and hone in your child.
Creativity in a child might be more than just a sign you have a mini-Picasso on your hands.
While creativity is brilliant for developing the technical skills that can lead to exciting careers and fulfilling hobbies in the arts, it also gives children a healthier perception of the world as they grow.
This type of thinking and offering children the room to be creative makes them more introspective. This may not fully blossom until they’re a bit older, but you’ll start to see how creative freedom and exposure to alternative ideas gives a child a better understanding of the differences between people. Getting them started early understanding these fundamentals of life is essential.
Creativity often works in tandem with problem-solving. Allowing your child to draw and paint gives them more than just an insight into color-combinations. It confronts them with challenges and forces them to find new solutions. Those challenges may just be trying to create a scene with the limited amount of crayons they have, but these creative solutions make future problems seem less daunting and give them a different route to the solutions than their peers.
This skill can be inspired in a number of ways, from simply giving your child some paper and finger paints to letting them loose with more stimulating toys like subscription boxes for kids such as the Sago Mini boxes. True creativity often comes from making the most of what you have, so see what your child can do with a variety of options.
Life is all about connections and collaborations, and children should be able to learn and get used to this early in their lives.
Humans are communal beings, and working together is an essential part of how we grow both as individuals and as a society. There are plenty of times in our lives where we can’t do things alone, and it’s healthy for children to understand that early and get used to the idea of working as a team.
Teaching collaboration can come as easily as letting your little ones play with friends or siblings. As their young minds work together to develop scenarios they’ll start to appreciate their friends and what they bring to playtime.
This is also a brilliant way for children to understand kindness and appreciation for each other. While it may take them years to formulate what they’re feeling, playing with someone else can help a child consider their feelings through actions as simple as giving them a turn with their favorite toy.
Physical health is important for children but needs to be approached naturally.
Playing offers children the opportunity to get the exercise they need to stay fit without unhealthy practices or the pressure of sport. For parents concerned about their children developing unhealthy habits early playtime is a chance to get the exercise they need naturally and enjoy the outdoors.
As a child plays their body develops. Their reflexes become better as they catch the ball, their flexibility improves as they dance together and how they control their body changes as they learn to understand its functions and restrictions. These are all essential lessons that can’t just be learned, they have to be experienced.
This can also help children understand their health and the implications of a lifestyle early too. While putting pressure on a young child to pay attention to their diet and body is extremely dangerous, the idea of healthy food is easier learned through playtime games where they can imagine themselves as chefs or market stall owners.
The truth is children’s attention spans, along with the whole population’s have never been worse.
Many children struggle to pay attention to the videos they’re watching on YouTube, let alone what their teachers are saying in class. This is a trait that is developing early and severely hampering their ability to learn and develop new skills. It is essential parents find a way to keep attention spans strong so their child has the best chance of developing.
Just limiting time on devices isn’t all you can do though. Playtime is a wonderful opportunity for children to sit down and focus on one singular activity for an extended period, letting their imagination take control and phasing distractions out.
Play removes the limits and constraints of the regular world, presenting children with a blank canvas to create their own scenarios on and becoming fully engrossed in. A good attention span is about more than just being able to listen to an adult for an hour straight. It’s about seeing a project through, giving yourself the chance to consider alternatives, and not giving up. Play can teach children all of these things subliminally.
Do not become concerned if your child wants to play all the time. While there is a fine balance to be learned, play is one of the best ways for young minds to truly develop and prepare themselves for the realities of the world. These essential skills and so many others can be learned just by letting a child be themselves and exploring the limits of their play.