Why is Play important to children?

August 11, 2019

Children love to play, and play is one of the most natural and widespread phenomena of childhood, as it provides children with ample opportunities for learning. A child has a right to play, it is the instrument which allows him/her to experience his/her world. If denied of this right, children will not follow the natural path of growth and development. Yet play is often characterized as an activity which is unimportant, non-serious and doesn’t enrich children’s learning. 

If I was to define what play is I will start by recalling its main characteristics; that play is self chosen, must be accepted as a process without an end, personally directed, non-literal, imaginative and requires an active alert mind. 

The value of play lies in how it enables the child the freedom to balance their ideas and feelings, and gives them a greater understanding of their world, because during play children make sense of their world, they explore it physically, socially, linguistically and intellectually. 

Play promotes the physical development of a child, it can help develop co-ordination of different parts of the body, through this children learn to gain control over their bodies. 

Play through exploration promotes the development of the mind. When a child plays, he/she learns to reason, to express himself, imagine and solve problems, all of which are skills that develop the child cognitively. 

Play encourages and gives children the opportunity to associate meaning to things, to learn the words that represent that meaning, to use language in an active, descriptive way. 

  • Play is a cherished part of childhood that offers children important developmental benefits and parents the opportunity to fully engage with their children.

Murooj Al-Amri

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