Everyone knows the expression, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” But no play is bad for Jack in other ways, too. It’s hard to overstate the value of play for children, particularly outdoors, in a safe, constructive environment. Here are a few of benefits of play for kids:
• Play is healthy. Simply enough, playing outside is good for kids. With childhood obesity a growing problem in America, it’s hugely important to keep children active and engaged with exercise. There’s no better way to do that than in play, which is fun at the same time that it is beneficial. It also offers a good alternative to unhealthy, sedentary behavior indoors or out of the home. If only it was that easy and enjoyable to stay in shape for adults!
• Play prevents the forming of bad habits. Just as play keeps you healthy, it also does wonders for keeping children from getting into the habit of watching too much TV or playing too many video games. If you start early in setting standards for what’s an acceptable amount of these activities, it’ll help as children grow older and gain more control in deciding how they spend their time.
• Play fosters creativity and imagination. The possibilities of how children play, particularly with a playset or other sandbox-type facilitators, is endless. While television and many other sedentary, idle activities don’t allow for kids to have a role in what they are doing, play allows the child to decide his or her own terms and conditions for what’s being done. Not only does that contribute to free thinking and creativity—it also encourages the child to take an active role in entertaining his or herself. Which, of course, cuts down on the amount of, “Mommy, I’m bored!” that you have to hear.
• Play teaches children how to interact with others. You can’t learn to play nice without playing. And when children play together, they learn important skills for how to interact fairly and appropriately with other children their age. Whether it’s having to work out the game or what they’re doing, or just coexisting with each other peacefully, play can be an early lesson in being a member of society.
• Play is fun! It seems simple, but it’s worth mentioning regardless: play is fun for kids. It leads to happiness and humor, and brightens the day. It also helps to relax and soothe children, who, being the smallest residents of an intimidating world, sometimes need a calming activity. As parents know, happy children make the whole family happy, and everyone needs to seek out happiness and fun in their day-to-day life, whether they’re young or old.
It’s always important to supervise and monitor children when they play, but play is something that should be encouraged and fostered as much as possible. And toys like a Play N’ Learn playset, trampoline, or basketball hoop make these enjoyable activities even better. With play being both fun and beneficial for children, you can’t go wrong!Tweet