Why is play necessary for children’s development?

+83 votes
asked Feb 12 in Education by Sufala (890 points)
edited Mar 5
I was thinking that play is bad and play is a waste of time. Children can use this time to learn other things. But recently I read a magazine, saying that play is significant for children's development. What does this mean? Can you explain it to me?

3 Answers

+16 votes
answered Mar 16 by Chiara (1,200 points)
edited Jul 19

There are so many researched reasons why play is necessary for development in children. Play not only benefits the child, but the family and the community. Play actually has been noted for improved health and improved quality of life. Play allows growth in every part of a child’s life including enjoyment, social development, emotional development, and physical development. Below is a list of the how’s and why’s play is so important for a child’s development.

  • Self-awareness growth
  • Self-esteem growth
  • Self-respect growth
  • Physical health improvement
  • Mental health improvement
  • Social skills when playing with other children
  • Confidence building when learning new skills
  • Imagination
  • Independence
  • Creativity
  • Learning to take risks and understanding challenging
  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to deal with new situations as they arise
  • Allows for growth in knowledge of their environment
  • Can allow for growth in knowledge of the larger world around them

For more information: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182.full

+4 votes
answered May 9 by sara (540 points)
edited Aug 5
The reason I most like play time with my children is to watch them learn. I love watching them do new things and seeing the thrill they get when figuring out new situations and challenges. That is my opinion on why is play necessary for children’s development.

During play time, you can just see the wheels turning in their minds. It’s absolutely fun to watch and wonder how they are going to figure something out. I also get to learn each child’s personality better. I have four children and all are unique with their personalities. It doesn’t matter if I am directly playing with my children, or watching from a distance, it is amazing to watch those minds in motion! Play is definitely the best way for a child to learn and grow!
+4 votes
answered Aug 14 by cory (560 points)
edited Aug 14

Why is play necessary for children’s development? Actually, play helps with so many areas of a child’s development and foundation in life. Play from birth on allows them to grow in areas that are needed as a growing child and into adulthood. Play gives a child the best head start on a great and useful life.

  1. Reading and vocabulary are learned during play. From a very young age, children are learning new sounds and using them to communicate. During play time, children work together on these skills. When they work on the foundation of vocabulary during play with other children, imagination and creativity also grow.
  2. Children are always learning. Learning during play comes naturally and is enjoyable. Children learn so much from just simple things such as playing games like Pat-A-Cake, or even songs which require actions. For a young child, play is learning!
  3. Play time not only helps children learn through creativity and imagination but, when play incorporates adult interaction, children better learn boundaries. Children learn, from play with adults, what appropriate behavior is and how to do things in an order (or by the rules).
  4. Spontaneity is also learned, and encouraged, during play time. What may seem as normal can suddenly become something else. This also encourages imagination and creativity. That cube piece doesn’t fit in that round hole? Well, put in one corner and you can spin it!
  5. The ability to choose is learned during play time. There are different games and activities to choose from. This helps a child learn what they like. This also helps children from constantly being overwhelmed. If you put 4 different toys in front of a 3 month old baby, the baby can become overwhelmed not knowing what they should do. The more choices a child is given, and the more often they are allowed to have and make choices, the less a child will be overwhelmed and the more they will learn about themselves.
  6. Play encourages physical activity. This physical activity allows children to learn balance, as well as what their capabilities are.
  7. Play time is also beneficial for the adults in the child’s/children’s life/lives. Play time with a child allow the adult to once again remember what it is like to play. It’s quite enjoyable but most adults forget because of the busy lives they live. Play time also helps adults with patience. Allowing the child to make the rules and make their own decisions. This can be a hard thing for adults to accept so the adult must learn to have patience, as well as understanding.
  8. Children have body cues just like adults. Playing with children allow parents to better understand their own child’s body language. This makes the parent/child relationship much closer because the parent learns to know how the child feels about a particular activity or situation without having to say anything. This allows a parent to keep their distance, or to intervene, if shown to be necessary.
  9. The last but also the most practical reason for play is that it is FUN. Who doesn’t want to have fun while learning something new? Even adults prefer a more creative way to learn new things. 
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