Monday, June 24, 2013

Play…why is it so important?

Brittany Jimenez, RN 
From the desk of Brittany Jimenez, RN
As adults we can often forget how much fun play is to a child. We think, “they are just playing” but did you know that children are learning about themselves and the world through play?

Play is essential in language development. From the baby games of “Peek-a-boo” and “So Big” to a backyard game of tag - play builds vocabulary, stimulates imagination and gives children an opportunity to learn and try new words.

Children are free to make choices when engaged in play. They can play out scenarios that give them power to express emotions of happiness, sadness or anger. Play offers opportunities to try new ideas and express their feelings in a safe environment.
When children are playing they are learning about their bodies. Large and small motor development is constantly found in play - from building with blocks and Lego’s to dressing dolls and pretending to be super heroes! Play strengthens the body, develops coordination and builds self-esteem.
Play gives the child practice at life skills. Play involves sharing, turn taking, decision making and the opportunity to make new friends. Family time can be encouraged through play as well - board games or outdoor games can bring families together and give children life long memories.

Give your child many opportunities to play. Let them dress up in old clothes, shoes and hats. Invite friends over to encourage sharing and the development of friendships. Let them decorate boxes and give them time to use their imaginations.  And most importantly, play with your children!!!

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