Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Importance Of Play For Children

Your daily life should be full of opportunities for a child to learn. Anything that you do will somehow affect their development in some way. We have always given Raph opportunities to learn, in play and in quiet time. We read 3 books every night as part of our settling down process and he is getting to they stage where he says the ends of sentences from his favourite books. It shows how much he listens and takes in.
Raph has always loved toys, especially cars, diggers and anything to do with transport. Play kitchens have definitely been a favourite to. He very much likes building ramps with us or preparing our dinners. He has got better and more independent in his play as he has got older.
We have encouraged Raph to be able to play on his own. I think it is important for a child to be able to occupy themselves. As a single child, it meant that we could start tea or prepare lunch. Being able to leave him to get on opens up points in the day for house chores to be done. And now as another bambino has come along, it has meant that he has just played by himself when I have been feeding or rocking a baby to sleep. 
Raphael loves to play and Etta is at a stage where everything is new and amazing so she enjoys anything that goes on around her. 

It is important to get your children playing. It opens up so many outlets for learning different skills. I found this Top 10 list on the Literacy Trust ( which explains so clearly why it is important.

1. Play lays the foundation for literacy. Through play children learn to make and practise new sounds. They try out new vocabulary, on their own or with friends, and exercise their imagination through storytelling.

2. Play is learning. Play nurtures development and fulfils a baby’s inborn need to learn. Play takes many forms, from shaking a rattle to peek-a-boo to hide-and-seek. Play can be done by a child alone, with another child, in a group or with an adult.

3. Play encourages adults to communicate with the children in their lives. Adults support play by giving children the opportunity to engage in play, by knowing when not to intervene, and by knowing when to intervene.

4. Play gives children the chance to be spontaneous. You may think your child should be rolling the truck on the ground but that doesn’t mean that truck is not equally useful as a stacking toy.

5. Play gives children choice. Having enough toys or activities to choose from will allow children to express themselves.

6. Play gives children space. To practise physical movement, balance and to test their own limits.

7. Play gives adults the chance to learn how to play again. One of the most challenging parts of play is incorporating yourself in it.

8. Play allows adults to learn their child’s body language. Knowing when you should incorporate yourself in your child’s play is key.

9. Play teaches adults patience and understanding.  If you do choose to join in your child’s play make sure that you do not try to take it over and force incorporation of your ultimate learning objectives into their play. Structured adult-led activities have their time and place but remember to allow for time for children to control and decide their own play.

10. Play is fun. Learning to play well, both by themselves and with others, sets children up to be contented and sociable.

I think that play has so much to do with the general rounding of a child's personalities. Learning to share, saying please and thank you and understanding how to be with others allows them to build and develop those key skills in becoming the polite little human being that we all love.

Post by Emily

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