One of the common concerns that parents have is whether their children have too much play time. However, the benefits of playtime have been established and confirmed by experts. In 1989, the United Nations even asserted that every child has a right to play, due to its importance in supporting their development. Here are some advantages of providing your children with adequate playtime.
Supporting Brain and Cognitive Development
Playing stimulates children’s brain, helping them link up neural connections and pathways for learning. This way, playtime indeed brings positive effects for educational development and daily cognitive activities. A study by psychologist Edward Fisher also found that play may enhance early development by 33 to 67 per cent, thanks to its role in getting children to communicate with and adjust to each other.
Boosting Imagination and Creativity
Playing can help children grasp the world around them and develop problem-solving skills, but with a caveat: only when it is not driven by adults. “Ideally, much of play involves adults, but when play is controlled by adults, children acquiesce to adult rules and concerns and lose some of the benefits play offers them, particularly in developing creativity, leadership, and group skills,” a 2007 report by the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health found. A 2002 study also found that children produced more complex and colourful arts after playtime, compared with those who first followed a structured exercise.
Helping Foster Social Skills
Play lets children interact with each other, fostering social bonds, awareness and competence. “Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills,” the 2007 report said.
Increasing Physical Activity and Health
A study by Deakin University found that longer playtimes are associated with more physical activity – the more children play, the more likely they can build active bodies. Play also helps children stay fit, reducing the risk of obesity and its related issues.