Technology, work, tiredness, cleaning and other things can get in the way when it comes to playing with the kids but it is really important to MAKE time. Not only is it great to have fun and see your children's little faces light up as the cars or rockets zoom around the lounge or the dolls have a tea party, but it is beneficial in terms of learning and development too.
Through play children learn about the world around them and develop cognitive and social skills. Language, questioning, problem solving, observation and cooperation are learnt through play - all of which will be useful throughout their lives.
There are 5 main areas of development and many simple activities that can help your child to develop in these ways:
Fine Motor Skill Development
Fine motor skills can be developed by crafts, colouring and drawing, reading and playing with different objects. It is development of small muscles within the body and most activities will help to develop fine motor skills in some way.
Gross Motor Skill Development
Large movements help to develop bigger muscles within the body. Skipping, running, jumping, climbing etc are all examples.
This is based on a child's learning and problem solving. Puzzles, jigsaws and card games (even pairs and snap) all help cognitive development as do most activities.
Social and Emotional Development
This is based around interaction with others and dress up or role play games are ideal for development of emotional and social skills.
Speech and Language Development
Speech and language is again helped through play with others but also alone if there are dolls or figures involved and the child speaks on their behalf. Any play that involves talking is beneficial.
"Even the most frivolous activity is beneficial for children as it helps them understand themselves better – learning what makes you happy and what makes you laugh helps children cope with challenges"
UKMums.tv resident expert Dr Amanda Gummer
If you wish to link up any posts, old or new, relating to play you can do so below. I've added a few of our own to begin.
Help to share the importance of making time to play with children!
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