Even though it may appear as if your child is “just-playing”, play is actually an essential part of his development. Through play, your child builds self-esteem, curiosity, problem solving skills, language skills, math skills, cooperation, balance, strength, and coordination
Here are some ways that your child learns through play:
- Through block play, your child will learn about shapes, colors, balance, and gravity. Your child will strengthen muscles, develop eye-hand coordination, learn about cause and effect, and build self-esteem each time a beautiful structure is built and then knocked down.
- Through sand and water play, your child will learn about his environment through the use of his senses, especially his sense of touch. Through measuring, filling, and dumping, your child will learn math skills and strengthen hand and arm muscles.
- Through scribbling and drawing, your child will strengthen small muscles and increase coordination that will enable him to develop writing skills in the future. Through imitation of adults making shopping lists and writing letters, your child will learn that written words have purpose. Through scribbling and drawing, your child’s imagination will be expanded and creativity will be enhanced.
- When playing with adults and including other children, your child will learn many new social skills, how to speak, listen, and interact with others.
- Physical activities such as running, jumping, pushing a cart, and riding a tricycle, develop your child’s large muscles and enhance his coordination and strength.
What can parents do to enhance play experiences?
- Provide a safe space for your child to explore and play freely.
- Allow your child to help with chores. Make everyday activities fun.
- Read to your child.
- Follow your child’s lead in play activities.
- Provide building toys, toys that help with housework, toys that can be ridden safely, dolls, puzzles, art supplies, music, and other safe toys that will expand creativity and imagination.
- Join in on the fun!!!