The Importance of Play in a Child's Development (PDF)
WHY IS PLAY IMPORTANT? Computer games; Writing.
Play is one of the most important needs Children develop socially and your child has. It is one of the ways emotionally children learn and it also helps children From the time toddlers start to play to manage their feelings and to cope near others, they are learning about with upsetting things that happen in relationships. As they get older, play their lives. Play helps build teaches about taking turns and sharing. relationships and play is relaxation and Play helps children to negotiate when fun. two children want the same toy or want to make rules for games. Children learn Play and learning about being a leader and being a follower. They learn about how to ask Children develop intellectually through to join in a game. play eg Hitting a mobile and making it move – learning about cause and effect; Children develop language eg Stories Posting boxes – learning about space and books; Songs; Nursery rhymes; and size; Puzzles – learning about Games with friends and adults; Talking shapes, sizes, number; Sorting toys – and listening. learning about number and grouping; Making up their own games – creativity. Play, relationships and feelings
Children develop motor (physical) skills Play teaches children about eg Picking up small things; Pushing and relationships and it is one of the pulling toys; Riding on toys; Using important ways that young children, can crayons or paint; Throwing and develop good language skills, and can catching; Climbing toys; Hitting balls; express and work through their
NAP032 Copyright NAPCAN Australia and Bec Pierce Australia feelings. making rules to get on well with mistakes. others. · Don’t compete with your children; · Play is the language of very young · The beginnings of friendships are this can discourage them from children. Their play can show you often built around playing with wanting to play with you. how they are feeling eg aggressive others. · Appreciate and encourage your play can reflect frustration or child’s effort eg display their works distress. of art. · By playing out situations that have HOW TO PLAY WITH CHILDREN been stressful, through dolls or Learning to play works best when puppets, mud, paint and water, Here are some of the best ways to play children chose how they play. children can express their feelings. with children. Sometimes parents worry that boys They will often repeat their play have fun dressing up in girl’s clothes – until they feel better. · Follow the child’s lead but make sure children need to mimic and try out the · Doll and puppet play can also help the game is safe, don’t allow it to get roles of girls and boys, mums and dads. children to deal with expected out of control. This is a very normal stage of their events eg starting school, going to · Some children enjoy rough play and development. hospital. The puppets or dolls can find it hard to stop. Encourage play through what is going to happen children to calm down by lying still PLAY IDEAS FOR PARENTS and help the child be more prepared. and breathing calmly. · Dressing up or pretending to be · Let the child make the rules. The most important play for young someone powerful (teacher, · Listen but don’t tell what to do. children is play with parents and there policeman) can increase feelings of · Talk about what the child is doing should be some time for this every day! esteem and confidence. and encourage eg “It looks like the Here are some suggestions. · Playing games of skill helps children spaceman wants to rule the world. to learn to control their impulses What are the people going to do?” · Talking, singing, cuddling, rocking or and wait for success · Allow plenty of time. reading to your baby. · School age children learn about · Allow for experimenting and · Read stories and nursery rhymes – a
NAP032 Copyright NAPCAN Australia and Bec Pierce Australia story at bedtime can be a very more than they lose and you need to special time. let them change the rules sometimes. · Hide and seek – make sure you are · Watch a favourite TV show or video easy to find if the child is very together (a good time for a cuddle young. and very restful). · Games involving physical contact eg · Fun play at bed time or bath time. bouncing on knee. · Enjoy a walk – explore the Remember: “rough” games such as environment, listen, look, touch and throwing a child – can cause harm. Play talk about it. gently with very young children · Gardening (especially digging, watering, playing in puddles). · Helping prepare a meal or helping with the housework. · Doing outside jobs together eg washing the car. · Going on outings such as a picnic or to a playground. · Pretend play – let the child decide who will play which role and make the rules. · Kicking and throwing balls. · Singing and dancing together. · Dressing up – provide old clothes, shoes and hats. · Playing puzzles or card games eg snap. Young children need to win
NAP032 Copyright NAPCAN Australia and Bec Pierce Australia