Have you noticed that babies have no worries in the world; all they do is to play, eat and sleep. I am sure you envy your baby but do not worry you have had your own turn, let him have his too!
You may wonder what is special about playing but it is more than that. It is essential that babies be allowed to play because playing itself is beyond playing. Playing involves skill building, problem solving, relationship management, surmounting physical and mental challenge. It helps in physical, emotional, mental and social development.
Play helps to build the imagination of your child: Kids at about the age of two can act out different roles. They can pretend to be a soldier, teacher or mummy and even turn his potty into a cap, pots into drums, spoon into drumsticks. You can try out using household items to create a playful scene while your child plays a different role. When you allow your child to lead in playing, you are able to discern his level of understanding on what stands out for him in your day-to-day interaction.
Play builds your child’s social skill: When kids start playing, they play individually as they grow; they begin to interact with others while playing. They learn how to share, take turns, cooperate and negotiate as they interact with their friends at school. You can help your child interact more with other kids at the park, church, mosques by setting up playtime with other families.
Play helps your child develop physically: When your child plays with toys, blocks and participate in sporting activities, he develops his strength, sense of coordination (eye and hand) and balance. All this can be displayed in the process of running, pedalling his bicycle, arrange blocks to form a shape.
Play shows behavioural challenges that your child is experiencing: When your child plays especially at home, some of the actions your child does gives you a glimpse of the behavioural challenges your child may be going through and the opportunity to correct it through play. If your child models a bad action, playfully model the good action
Other nonphysical benefits of play include reduction of stress, crankiness. When your child plays, he has little or no tendency to be grumpy, tense. Physical plays also help to ward off obesity.
During play give your child free reins to determine how things will play out and follow his lead while being mindful of safety. Playing along with your kids help to build their self-esteem that you find what they do interesting and worth engaging.
With all these numerous benefits, I know you would encourage your kids to play more but you can support play by being involved in the play with your kids rather than watching television. You can play hide-and-seek, dance to music indoors and play ball or ride a bicycle together