The value of play is often underestimated. Many people forget that play isn’t just about keeping kids entertained. There’s also a lot of evidence to suggest that kids who play often during early childhood are more likely to perform well in school.
Do you want your little one to reach the heights of academic success? If so, you should make sure fun is a priority for them, both in and out of your house. The following are key reasons why:
Play Can Involve Learning
This is important to address right away. It’s smart to remember that play can be an educational experience in and of itself. While young children may not be interested in a lecture, they’ll certainly want to participate in fun activities, even if those activities are based around learning.
For example, if your young child is playing with blocks, you could ask them questions that help them understand the essentials of mathematics. It may be simple, but asking a child, “How many blocks would you have if I gave you two more?” is an easy way to introduce them to topics they’ll study in greater detail at school.
Outdoor Play Boosts Executive Functioning
Executive functioning skills play (no pun intended!) an essential role in the academic success of all children. These skills include the ability to focus attention, make plans, and control emotions. It’s easy to understand why children who have these strengths tend to do better in school than kids who have not developed them.
This is another reason to let children play. Specifically, you should let them play outdoors (in safe environments, of course). Multiple studies reveal that children who frequently play outdoors are likely to develop executive functioning skills.
Researchers believe this may be due to the lack of structure involved in outdoor play. While it’s definitely important for children to play games that teach them how to follow rules, they also need chances to play without such limitations. This helps them learn to make their own decisions and direct their own energies in constructive ways.
Playing with Others Builds Crucial Social Skills
Young children don’t go to school in a vacuum. They’re going to be surrounded by other kids during their time as students. Getting along well with them is key to academic success.
Your kids may need to complete group projects. They might need to learn how to concentrate when they have distracting classmates. It’s possible they will have to share school supplies.
Playing with others helps them build social skills to navigate these experiences. When children play with other kids, they simply learn to get along with those other kids, which will be essential when they begin their academic careers.
As you may have noticed, variety is also important. Children need opportunities to engage in different forms of play. When they have varied, dynamic play experiences, the odds of them doing well in school are much higher.
As if you needed another reason to enjoy letting your kids have fun!