The importance and benefits of play is not to be undermined in a child’s development as it is one of the first tools that stimulates and enables a child’s growth.
However as society progresses, time for free play has been found to be reduced significantly due to a multitude of factors that include changes in family structure, time spent on technological devices, as well as increased focus on academic studies and achievement.
Such factors have resulted in the negligence of unstructured and creative play.
Benefits of Play
Play is essential in a child’s development as it enables children to interact and engage with the world around them. It encourages healthy brain development as children learn to develop their imagination and use their creativity, all while growing to improve their cognitive, physical and emotional strength.
It encourages exploration and spontaneous learning of their surroundings and the world. Play enables children to develop new skills and expand their knowledge, which increases confidence and development of values such as determination.
Undirected play which encourages teamwork, teaches children how to work in groups, develop social skills and problem-solving abilities. While promoting the process of learning, it also encourages children to discover their passion and interests early, and move on to life to pursue their passions. Apart from emotional and cognitive development, play also helps to develop and improve motor skills, building active and healthy bodies.
Your presence bears a significant importance in your child’s relationship in play. You provide the emotional (and occasional physical) support that empowers your child with the confidence to try new things, explore the world and to make mistakes. All these ultimately lead to healthy cognitive, emotional and social development. I
When interacting and listening to your child, you provide a safe space for your child. The importance of being a role-model as a parent in your relationship with your child comes into place. From direct teaching and behavioural guidance, to your passive body language, you help your child learn life skills.
Playing with your child aids in building a close parent-child relationship. Your presence and care allows your child to feel a sense of belonging and attachment, and in understanding who they are. Therefore, play supports the building of safe, stable and nurturing relationships with parents and caregivers which your child requires to thrive.
Importance of Spontaneity in Play
Play controlled and closely monitored by adults tends to lose some of its benefits that are important to a child’s development. Values and life skills developed through unrestrained play such as independence, decision-making skills and even some aspects of social skills are impacted.
The consequence? Your child might not be able to cope in school alone, especially when they are faced with stress and pressure often not experienced before due to over-protected play.
Ways to Introduce Play to Your Child
Offer Open-Ended Toys
Utilising developmental toys that can be played in different ways help to develop motor skills, creativity and imagination. Examples of toys such as blocks, legos, play sets and stuffed animals will encourage your child to think out of the box and play creatively, maximising the experience.
Family Activity Time
You can spend quality time with your child by engaging with hands-on activities outdoors and indoors such as making a sandcastle together at the beach, solving simple puzzles together or even cooking together! This incorporates both play and spending quality time with your child and helps to strengthen family relationships.
Engaging your child in role play through reading books and creating different perspectives is a way of active learning and engagement. Communicating with your child with different voices and personalities that you are playing out, is a building block towards empathy. The way your child reacts in certain make-believe scenarios will help you to understand your child better, especially if your child acts in certain ways that are not ideal. This activity helps in positive communication with your child and helps both parties to listen to one another better.
By finding the right balance between free play and parental control, you will be able to optimise your child’s cognitive, physical and emotional development, all while providing a happy, healthy and meaningful growing experience for your child.
Healthy Balance of Play & Learning - Genesis Childcare 1989
Entrust your child to us - Genesis Childcare 1989
Our Tampines childcare is one of Singapore's leading childcare services. Visit our childcare at Tampines and Tampines preschool to learn more about our curriculum and how we ensure a holistic development for your child.
At our preschool Tampines, we believe in the growth and potential of every child and aim to develop your child to their best.
Located alongside our childcare in Tampines is our Nurture Infant House. If you are looking for Tampines infant care or infant care in Tampines, do visit Nurture Infant House. It is for infants aged 2 months to 18 months old.
You can learn more about our infant care Tampines here.
Feel free to book a tour through WhatsApp here.
Genesis Childcare 1989 (Tampines)
Blk 433, Tampines Street 43, #01-63 /65 (S) 520433
Nurture Infant House (Tampines)
(2 to 18 months Infants)
Blk 433, Tampines Street 43, #01-61 (S) 520433