Young children learn and understand the world through play. They are also developing important skills such as motor, cognitive and social skills. Play is not only important for early learning, but it can also play a crucial role in your child’s mental well-being – and yours! Playtime can be both fun and healthy.
Play strengthens the bond between you, your child and yourself
Children and caregivers can bond through shared moments of joy and learning. You have the opportunity to connect with your child and offer learning opportunities. Playing together allows you to see the world through your child’s eyes.
You are helping your child to develop emotional and social skills that will support their mental health.
Play helps reduce stress levels
Both you and your child can relieve stress by singing, dancing, and playing games. Your body releases endorphins when you have fun and laugh together. This promotes a sense of well-being.
Even a short time of play can be a powerful reminder to parents of their ability and support for their child. It also gives them an opportunity to forget their work commitments.
Research also shows that children are better off if they have time to play than if they have been exposed to prolonged stress. Stress can have a negative impact on a child’s mental and physical health. These effects can be mitigated by play and positive, supportive relationships between adults.
Children can use play to process difficult emotions
Children often play with complicated emotional issues when they are struggling. Children need to be able to have fun and still behave like children. They can express their feelings through play, even if they don’t have the words. Little ones learn to recognize the effects of painful events by reenacting them repeatedly in imaginative play. If your child has seen two adults fight, they might recreate the conflict with their dolls.
Play is a great way to build confidence
Children feel accomplished and competent when they solve problems or come up with innovative solutions while solving puzzles. Your child will learn that you value them and are fun to play with. Playtime is a time for you to give your best attention and invest in the game together. Your child will feel loved and important when you share in the experience with them. So smile, get involved, and have fun!