I recently shared a post about dinner play and how my children love to play with their food. This got me thinking about all the different types of play that young children use to learn and grow and what the benefits of each form of play are. For children, especially young children, play is how they learn, grow and develop specific skills. It’s so much more then just a chance to express themselves. In case you’re unsure about the different types of play and the benefits, I thought I would share what I know with you. As well as a few tips for encouraging certain types of play.
Does your child love to play games with their stuffed animals or dress up like a princess and dance about? That’s imaginative play, a form of play that a lot of kids love. The great thing about it is that they can be whoever or whatever they want to be; from a unicorn to a nurse, they get to choose who they are. The benefits of imaginative play are that children learn valuable life skills, such as how to cooperate with others and how to take turns. If they’re playing with other kids, that is.
Outdoor play and learning.
Research has shown that outdoor play comes with many benefits for kids. So much so that there are lots of companies that now offer special outdoor activities for kids, as seen in Shedstore’s showcase. From encouraging creative expression to boosting their fitness, outdoor play and learning are important. It helps kids to develop social skills and teaches them about the environment in which we live.
Playing as a group.
While younger children don’t tend to play as a group, as they get older kids start to take part in group play. This is where they play alongside other children. Whether it’s shop, or playing tag outside, that’s group play. This is an important form of play for children of all ages. As it helps them to develop their social skills and learn what are and aren’t appropriate behaviours.
A lot of parents tell their kids not to play with their food as it’s wasteful. However, food play is another form of play that is important for children. Studies have shown that children who play with their food, tend to be smarter kids who don’t. This is because as they’re smashing and throwing their food about, they’re playing and learning. So the next time your kids spread their dinner across the table, don’t tell them off, allow them to learn
Whether your child is playing sports like football or is beating their sibling at Monopoly, this is competitive play. This type of play is important as it teaches kids the importance of working as a team, taking turns, and being a good loser. All kids want to win, of course they do but sometimes they have to lose. And playing competitive games or sports teaches them that. This might lead to a couple of tantrums, but being a good loser is an important life skill.
So there you have it, the different types of play and the benefits of each. Want your kids to become happy, healthy adults, then let them play to their heart’s content.
This is a sponsored post.