As simple as it looks to an observer, there is a depth of critical development happening within children as they play.
The benefits of play have been scientifically proven, ranging from cognitive and social-emotional development, to dexterity and confidence, and much more.
When children play, they create a world where they are the masters, allowing them to process and conquer fears, which in turn builds resiliency. Unstructured play, rather than passive entertainment, also allows for physical movement. A box of sidewalk chalk goes a long way in the summer, from hopscotch to treasure hunts. Inexpensive hula hoops and balls can be used to dream up delightful new games.
Take a moment to observe your child’s play. You’ll learn the depths of their imagination and how they view the world. If they choose to involve you in their play, let them lead it and see what transpires. You’ll gain insight into their interests, passions and creativity.
It’s been said that play is the work of children. It’s also just plain fun!
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Brought to you by:
Karen Swanger is the Director of OSU KidSpirit Oregon 4-H Youth Programs kidspirit.oregonstate.edu