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How Functional Play Benefits Children

Child development experts consider functional play to be the most simple type of play in which small children engage. Such experts often refer to functional play as "first play" precisely because it characterizes how young children first begin to use playthings to entertain themselves.

While children may be happy with the sensory delights offered by dolls or empty toilet paper tubes, they get much more than sensory stimulation out of playtime. The simple repetitive activities that are common during functional play actually build pre-literacy, motor, and thinking skills. For instance, consider the following ways your toddler might play:

  • Lining up cars by color: Promotes skills such as identifying and classifying objects
  • Snapping together interlocking blocks without making anything in particular: Builds hand-eye coordination
  • Crashing a car into the wall and watching it bounce back off: Introduces the concept of cause and effec

Functional play may be known as "first play," but it prepares tots for the complex skills they'll need to utilize both in school and in life.

source: Verywell Family

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