The Benefits of Play for Kids
Playtime can make for a well-rounded kid. Here are the top 10 benefits of penciling in enough play for your child.
1. Boosts Brain Power
Playtime using toys when a child is an infant yielded in a higher IQ by the time a child reached age 3, and even when retested at age 4.5 during one study. Just by offering your child toys and letting them test them out, you’ll be building up their brainpower.
2. Improves Creativity
When children have time to play, they have time to imagine and create. Whether they are making mud pies in their backyard or exploring the limits of their physical capabilities by testing out cartwheels, they are developing their creativity. Where would humanity be if we didn’t have the creativity of people like Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, or other people who helped shape our world?
3. Develops Language
By participating in pretend play as well as other forms, children, especially those in preschool, can really improve their ability to speak and their understanding of the words they’re saying. Being around other kids during play can also help with their vocabulary and language — kids love to learn new words and phrases from each other.
4. Leads to Happier Children
Even if you don’t care as much as about making your child as smart as they can be, you should care about their overall happiness. And for many children, playtime results in a happier kid. They’ll feel real joy getting to pursue their favorite form of play, checking out new toys, or having a friend over for some backyard hijinks.
Happiness shouldn’t be underrated. It’s one of the greatest gifts of a well-balanced childhood. And for some, those feelings of happiness can be hard to hang onto throughout their lives if they don’t have a good basis for it now.
5. Helps Kids Cope With Stress
Kids will have a lot to deal with as they get older. There will be peer pressure, romance drama, friendship issues, and stress over grades. Play can help them learn how to rebalance the stress in their lives and cope with the daily pressures they’ll face.
It’s a lesson and a skill that will serve them well throughout their life — finding healthy and constructive ways to deal with stress.
6. Contributes to Better Physical Health
Playing will give your child more physical activity than they would get otherwise. All those movements they’ll experience while playing will make them stronger and give them more endurance and greater motor skill development.
Getting more physical activity will help your child sleep better at night too. And you’ll be able to sleep better as well.
7. Helps Kids Them Be More Sociable
Play can help improve a child’s social skills, especially when they are playing near other children or playing with them. It gives them a fun, non-judgmental space in which they can learn the give and take that relationships require.
Just being around other children, even if they aren’t directly interacting with them can benefit them.
8. Builds Self-Confidence
Tackling challenges and succeeding can make your child feel like a rock star. No feat is too big or too little to be celebrated to them. Whether it’s learning how to do a handstand in the pool or getting across the monkey bars at the playground, taking a risk and eventually accomplishing what they set out to do is a confidence booster.
While physical challenges can build confidence, children can also gain confidence by developing their imaginations or learning conflict resolution skills. They’ll know that no matter what the challenge is, they have the ability to rise to the occasion to face it head-on.
9. Helps Kids Express Their Emotions
Whether kids are happy, sad, or scared, having some playtime can help them let out those emotions. They can take out their anger in an imaginative setting which can give them a great release that will make them feel better when they’re done playing. Playtime can help children of all ages deal with what they are feeling.
It’s a great way for children to learn to tap into everything they are thinking and feeling and find a constructive way to deal with it.
10. Lets Kids Explore Their Passions
Part of the fun of play for kids is getting a chance to pursue whatever it is that interests them. What they do during that playtime is totally up to them — if they want to sing into their hairbrush and pretend they’re a rock star, or act like they’re an astronaut getting ready to head into space.
Playtime can give them a safe place to explore all their interests. Some may become lifelong interests while some will fall by the wayside.