“Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.” ~ American Academy of Paediatrics
It’s coming up to Christmas and you’re probably wondering what toys to buy for your kids. I think it’s helpful to remember that more play leads to more learning and that active play is far better for your children than passive play where they sit on a laptop or gaming device for long periods.
“Make-believe or pretend play, with guidance and support from adults, blossoms in the preschool years and allows children to make a number of cognitive gains as they try out new ideas and skills.” ~ National Association for the Education of Young Children
Play is in danger of becoming a lost ‘art’ for families across the UK, as 21% of time-starved parents admit that they have forgotten how to play and struggle to engage their children in creative and imaginative activities that will help their development according to a new report.
Lots of research has shown that brain connections develop during periods of play so it is vital to emotional, physical and intellectual development.
Parents don’t always understand the importance of play however, and in today’s competitive world, the temptation is to stop your children “wasting time” and to put the time to what they believe is more constructive use.
For a child, however, there is no more constructive activity than play. When analysing the importance of play, particularly if you’re tempted to introduce a more “worthwhile” activity such as flash cards, educational computer games or dancing or karate lessons, you should take into account the following points:
Here is a useful guide from Fisher Price about age appropriate toys from 1 month to teenage years.