As your little one drifts off to sleep after a long, tiring day, you probably wonder about what it is that keeps children going from sunrise to sunset. Snuggled in a clean pair of pyjamas that have been washed in a wonderfully scented fabric conditioner, you look on adoringly as sleep spins its wonderful web around his or her head.
A good night’s rest is one of the many benefits of constructive play. Today, with video games, DVDs and mobile games, children no longer reap the benefits of constructive play. With a multitude of developmental benefits, the powerful effects of play reach further than just a tired little body at the end of the day. Constructive play is essential to the healthy and balanced development of children, encouraging cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth. Not only are children mentally stimulated by play, they also learn a variety of invaluable life skills from the varying degrees of interaction.
Play can happen at school, in day care or even in the comfort of your own home. Each interaction varies, from group play to intimate play, which encourages deeper bonds between the child and a parent or sibling. Over the years, its importance has been replaced with a variety of theories, electronic games and television.
Not only do these obstacles eliminate a range of fundamental steps in a child’s development, they also bypass years of childhood that are meant to be spent exploring and discovering. Between the ages of 18 months and three years of age, a child’s motor and social skills, balance and coordination go through a phase of refined development and this is strengthened through constructive play.
Running, throwing a ball, spending time in the garden, and using their imaginations are ideal ways in which children grow. The power of play also means a stimulated and developed mind as it encourages little ones to use their own creativity. It also gives parents the opportunity to bond with their children – whether you opt to join your toddler in the garden or spend an afternoon indoors playing with dolls or building Lego blocks - the act of playing nurtures a delicate bond.
Play allows your little ones to navigate through a small little world that they can master and understand while allowing them to conquer their fears. Play, in whichever form, allows children to practice adult roles, which equips them with capabilities that lead to confidence and resilience.
The powerful effects of this increase a child’s developmental trajectory, ultimately equipping little ones with the confidence that he or she needs to conquer the miniature world in which they function.
It is always important to remember that play is a cherished part of childhood in which children make their first memories. At the end of a busy day, treat your little one to a warm bath, tuck him or her into a comfortable bed that smells of delicate fabric softener and share the wonderful stories of a day well spent.