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Why Every Kid Needs Play

The next time your kids ask to play at a friend’s house, it’s best to let them have a little fun. Many parents underestimate what play can do for their children. Whether they like to build designs with blocks or create a show with dolls, it’s essential for kids to access dedicated playtime. That’s because play provides extensive benefits.

Why Every Kid Needs Play

Here’s why every child should experience playtime.

1. Play Builds Crucial Social Skills

Everyone makes friends at their own pace. If your kids aren’t exactly social butterflies, it’s okay. That said, it’s important for all children to socialize with their peers whenever possible. This time with others helps your children grow mentally and emotionally over time. They learn social-related skills like communication, teamwork and confidence.

That’s when play can make a significant difference for your kids’ social lives. Even short play dates or hangouts can ensure that your kids build meaningful connections with friends throughout their childhoods. Try to make room for weekly socialization. If your kids know that they can have friends over, they’ll be more likely to develop those mental and emotional assets.

2. Play Provides Essential Daily Exercise

Children need to exercise for at least an hour or so every day. Playtime can be a simple way for your children to work on fine motor skills as well as burn calories and build muscle. They may be able to exercise at school when their class attends recess, but it’s smart to supplement those activities with play at home. You can let your kids have a bit more free range at home to expand their curiosities.

This extra time outside can also help your kids expand their athletic skills. If they play sports, it’s even more necessary for them to stay active. Make sure that your children play enough outside each day so that they can stay healthy and strong. You can make outdoor playtime even more fun when you set up a playdate or hangout with friends at a local park.

3. Play Relieves Anxiety and Stress

When your children seem anxious or stressed, it could help to let them play. An hour or so outside on the playset allows kids to feel less uneasy and overwhelmed from busy days. Even a calm activity like storytime doesn’t always achieve similar effects. For most people, it’s beneficial to blow off steam through physical activity. Playtime can act as a comparable outlet for your kids.

You’ll likely notice your kids are more well-behaved when they come back inside. They’ll have a better attitude as a whole — which helps everyone stay sane. If you suspect that your children need to deal with some pent up emotions, it’s time for outdoor play. Let them run around outside with supervision to relieve their concerns even for a moment. It’ll make them better kids as a whole.

4. Play Teaches Valuable Life Lessons

When your kids play with one another and their peers, it’s prime time for them to learn valuable abilities. Playtime can teach your kids how to be creative, collaborative leaders that know what it’s like to work well with people. It also provides an opportunity for kids to embrace their true selves. It’s unlike any other environment. They can make up fake characters, swing across monkey bars and try interactive playground games.

Playtime provides a space that allows kids to deal with real-world issues. These problems may not seem important, but they’re fundamental for proper development. How do you reach a compromise? What happens when you try this rather than that? Can everyone follow these rules? These are the questions that kids have to broach when they’re on the playground.

5. Play Contributes to Intellectual Progress

It turns out that playtime can build executive function abilities that correlate with intellectual development amongst children. It takes a certain awareness to match colors, blocks and shapes together. Do your children like to play with action figures? Those dramatic play sessions can create a stronger vocabulary. They can even work on their math and science abilities when they build a fort outside.

A structured playgroup with activities lead by an adult can help kids focus on specific skills. It’s those free play moments that let kids use and develop abilities by themselves. Children who play both alone and with other people can become smarter, well-rounded individuals over time. Make sure that your kids have a chance to experience varied play throughout their childhoods.

Children Need to Play for Their Development

All parents should prioritize playtime for their kids. Children must have enough time to play each day so that they can become stronger and smarter individuals. When they can express themselves with toys, games and other activities, it’s easier for them to blossom. Playtime directly contributes to their physical, emotional and mental health – and that’s crucial.

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