The Importance Of Play In The Early Years

bips students playing

It is a common saying that play is the work of children, and it proves to be true. Play is essential for children as it gives them a basic understanding of the world, people around them, and even themselves. Indulging in play is as important as food and sleep for young children.

Are you wondering if play is important for children? Or how they can impact a child’s growth and development? Dive right in and find out the role of play in the crucial formative years of a child’s life.  

How Does Play Help Children In Early Years?

For every parent or educator, nothing is more important than the well-being and growth of a child. It is during the early years of their life that they are introduced to the world, form their personality, and develop their perspective. 

During this phase, playtime can play an important role in their life in the following ways:

Fosters Brain Development 

There are numerous ways in which both structured and unstructured play time can promote brain development. It enables the children to have a better understanding of the world around them, which lays the foundation for future growth. This is why a Cambridge curriculum school will focus more on the play.  

The information a child captures during the early years builds a foundation of the brain. When they get exposure to an environment enriched with play, toys, and life experiences, they act as building blocks. However, a lack of play will lead to a loss of such experiences. 

Neuroscientists also believe that exposing children to play with toys and games can alter their brain’s chemistry. The cerebral cortex, part of the brain associated with higher cognitive processing, can significantly benefit from play and environmental enrichment. 

Improves Physical Fitness

At a young age, children have a strong need to be active and indulge in physical play. It can be anything that keeps their body moving. Whether you realise it or not, their bodies are wired to stay active. It helps them learn how to use their body and also improves the connection with the brain. 

Besides that, daily play time can help improve the fitness and health of a child. It can build strong muscles, boost bone density, improve cardiovascular function, sharpen reflexes, develop balance, and enhance gross motor skills. 

Daily outdoor play time is essential to ensure their mental health and resilience and give them the ability to self-regulate their emotions. 

Ignites Creativity And Imagination

The most obvious benefit of play during early years is improved creativity and imagination. Children create their own world, generate new ideas, make new games, and come up with unique solutions. 

Indulging in such situations not only boosts their confidence but also helps them learn essential life skills and foster relationships that will prove useful in the future. 

Independent play, also called free play, is an unstructured activity that encourages children to design their play. Similarly, pretend play also allows them to create scenarios and then act them out. These types of play give them a chance to be creative, which is essential in life.  

Grows Emotional Regulation 

When adults feel overwhelmed, they retreat to soothing activities that they enjoy and also help them unwind. It works as a distraction and brings play back to life. Similarly, when children need play time in their day-to-day routine. 

Moreover, playing with peers can help them regulate their emotions, which is essential for school readiness. Emotional regulation can also help the psychosocial development of a child. It predicts their social success since it helps them control their emotions and become socially competent. 

Encourages Independence

Young children have little to no control over their life. Most of their time goes following the directions of their parents and elders about what to do, when to do, and where to go. But, when they play, they are in charge of everything. 

During play, children have the opportunity to set rules and be in power. They can be leaders while adults and other kids can listen to them. It develops their sense of independence and makes them capable of handling tasks on their own. 

When children engage in solitary play and become comfortable with it, they get to figure out how they fit in. This proves to be helpful when they socialize with a group and learn social cues by observing other children. 

Solitary play also ensures they experiment with ideas and creativity to become ready for any challenge that comes their way. When alone, they will always come up with new ways to keep themselves busy. 

Strengthen Relationships 

Be it peers, caretakers, or parents, when children play with them; it helps strengthen their relationships. From playing basic games like hide and seek to indulging in scavenger hunts, it only ensures children form a deeper bond with the people around them. 

These experiences prove to be bonding moments for young children that stimulate brain development. Moreover, they become happy instances that they remember for years to come. 

Final Thoughts

Play is vital for the growth and development of young children as it contributes significantly to their well-being. It contributes to physical, emotional, cognitive, and social growth, which benefits them in the later part of life as well. 

Moreover, playtime with family and peers gives them a chance to fully engage and form emotional bonding. When choosing a school, it is imperative for parents to pick one that focuses on play time and adopts a free-play approach.

You can choose the best British curriculum schools in Sharjah to ensure your child gets the right environment and facilities for playtime!  

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