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The Importance of Play: How Kids Learn by Having Fun
Play is one of the most important aspects of a child’s life. Why? Because through peekaboo, patty-cake, and playing house, children learn to think creatively and interact socially.
Through play, they develop physically and discover a slew of emotional skills,and they learn how to process the world. In short, play is pivotal to your child’s development.
“Play is how children learn,” says Dr. Tiff Jumaily, a pediatrician at Integrative Pediatrics and Medicine Studio City in Los Angeles.
What’s more, according to a 2012 studyTrusted Source, play reduces stress. “On the whole, play is associated with responses that facilitate learning… [and] work off stress,” says Jumaily.
But what are the benefits of play and what type of engagement, toys, and activities do children really need? We asked some experts to weigh in.
The benefits of play
While the benefits of play are innumerable — play helps children develop cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally — there is more to play than fun and games.
Mayra Mendez, PhD, LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist and program coordinator at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica, California, tells Healthline, “Play is important because it provides a primary foundation for learning, exploring, problem-solving, and building an understanding of the world and your role within it.”
But how do children learn through play? Well, it’s simple. Play allows children the chance to emulate what they see and practice skills. It gives them an outlet for creativity and experimentation, and play helps them learn how to interact and communicate with others.
Play promotes healthy development and critical thinking skills. It reinforces memory, helps children understand cause and effect, and, according to Mendez, helps children explore the world — and their role in it.
“Young children learn how things fit together through play. It allows them to use their senses and encourages exploration and curiosity, and these skills are the foundation of intellectual development and cognitive processing.”
Nutcrackers Daycare Academy We are a family owned and operated academy that provides children with a strong foundation to begin their lives. Our teachers are highly trained and extremely attentive to support your child’s desire to explore and discover. Our passionate staff values the relationships we have with our families and work hard to involve them in all our activities and decisions. Our facility provides an openness inside and out for a child to feel free to explore, create, and learn in a safe, loving and developmentally appropriate environment. Contact at 713-842-7796.
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