As author and psychologist Susan Linn once noted, “Play is the foundation of learning, creativity, self-expression, and constructive problem-solving. It’s how children wrestle with life to make it meaningful.”
Needless to say, playtime is about much more than having good fun. This time to learn and grow is an integral part of each stage of development.
For this reason, parents must consider the priority of dedicated playtime in daily routines to help their children better navigate the world around them. Let’s take a closer look at the subject of the power of play: reasons to allow your child more playtime.
Playtime Benefits Cognitive and Creative Abilities
Playtime at every stage of childhood allows kids to boost and build their brainpower. Whatever shape or form playtime takes will regularly engage, stimulate, and challenge the functioning of a child’s tiny mind. Designating a safe space and set time to use their imagination, explore ideas, be creative, or think critically can only further support their development into future well-rounded adults.
Facilitating and participating in playtime with your children can also help build a heightened trusting and nurturing relationship. Parents who show they value play are positive role models who teach sportsmanship, innovation, and the importance of discovery and passion.
Playtime Is a Classic Stress-Buster
Adults are not the only individuals who experience stress. As children grow older, they come to face an array of stressors in their life, such as peer pressure, friendship drama, or grades. There are many strategies for coping with stress, yet play remains the most essential to teach them how to rebalance and properly deal with daily pressures.
Unstructured playtime acts as a key buffer, providing opportunities for freedom, relief, and happiness and preventing the development of bad habits. As a source of self-regulation and awareness, play also powerfully helps children learn the correct response behaviors to positive and negative emotions alike. Discovering healthy and constructive methods for dealing with their feelings is a life lesson they can carry with them for years to come.
Playtime Is Essential for Social Development
Another critical aspect of playtime that checks off the benefits box is that of social skills. While playtime can certainly involve solitary play, playtime with others is fundamental for building a steady social foundation. Simply being around peers or other kids is one of the main reasons to allow your child more playtime.
Encouraging your child to interact with playmates in a fun, non-judgmental space helps them learn more about the world of connections and relationships. This is the power of play: discovering the ins and outs of social expectations and norms and how to collaborate and coordinate with people around you. Each minute of play fosters greater self-awareness of a child’s influence and capabilities, helping them genuinely learn and grow into who they are from the inside out.