Play is an essential part of any happy and healthy childhood. In fact, it’s so important that the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child has deemed that being able to play is a human right to which all children are entitled.
There’s a good reason for this. Play doesn’t merely keep children occupied. It also gives them a chance to develop a wide range of practical skills that they will benefit from throughout life. The following are just a few of the more noteworthy ways play helps children develop into successful adults.
Developing Social Skills
Social skills are crucial for many reasons. Knowing how to get along well with others helps people cultivate relationships, work with colleagues, and generally avoid conflict.
Playing with others helps children develop these skills. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Quite simply, the more time children spend with other children, the more likely they are to become familiar with the dynamics of human relationships. Additionally, when play involves any kind of objective that requires teamwork, children learn the value of working with others to achieve goals.
Learning How to Solve Problems
Solving problems is something adults do every single day. How do I complete this project for work? How do I make sure I can pay all the bills? How do I address a personal conflict that’s been bothering me? How do I change this flat tire?
These are just a few examples of the countless problems adults encounter on a regular basis. Having the skills to solve them is clearly important.
That’s another reason play is so valuable for children. It gives them the opportunity to learn the essentials of problem-solving while having fun doing so. Whether it’s a board game, puzzle, or any other challenging version of play, these activities will provide children with skills that come in handy later on.
Developing Language Skills
It’s no secret that developing language skills early in life is crucial to a child’s overall wellness and success. When they understand and appreciate the power of language, they can communicate with others, and they can understand others. This is essential for everything from performing well in school to building friendships.
Luckily, this is another skill that play has been shown to promote. It makes sense, too. Playing gives children more exposure to language than they would get if they didn’t engage in such activities. Perhaps more importantly, it demonstrates how to use language effectively. For instance, if a child is playing with others, they may need to use language to coordinate with their teammates in an attempt to achieve a particular goal.
That’s worth keeping in mind. Understanding language is just one benefit of play. Understanding how to use it to achieve one’s aims in life may be the more significant benefit for children in the long run.
Remember this when letting your children play. Leisure time is never wasted time during childhood. On the contrary, the more children play, the more chances they have to develop skills they’ll use for years to come.