Why is Play important?
Playing is the most natural thing in the world, but what you may not know is that there's so much more to it than just having fun.
It is through play that your child will develop essential life skills, learn how to interact with peers and with adults, discover creativity, adapt and develop new skills, and also learn a whole range of emotions.
Play has a vital role in your child's mental and physical development, and as a parent, you must realize your responsibility in creating opportunities for your child to play.
Babies and young children learn much from playing, and these activities help them develop valuable skills which they will need later on in life.
Playing facilitates your child's cognitive development. Play is your child's way of learning about the world around her. When your child hears, sees, touches, tastes, or smells something, messages are sent to her brain and important mental connections are created. Activities such as rocking your baby, singing to her, reading, playing and laughing with her help to shape your child's brain. Giving your child a variety of activities to experience will result in more brain connections made, and repeating these activities will only help to make these associations stronger.
Play is the perfect opportunity for you to bond with your child. Playing games with your little one gives you the opportunity to play a major role in your child's development of social skills, acting as a guide while she explores appropriate responses to certain activities and develop values. You can take each play time as a chance to become closer to your baby: as your child learns more about the world through the games you play, she also learns more about you and how much you love her.
Your baby develops motor skills during play. Games that involve motor skills such as rolling over, crawling and walking, grasping objects, and drawing improves your child's grasp of these abilities, helping to prepare her for more advanced levels of physical activity.
Play also helps your child exercise skills in communication. Good communication skills are honed during your playtime with your child, and even as your little one is too young to speak, she will learn to tell you how she feels through facial expressions, gestures, and sounds. Identifying these expressions verbally by using simple words such as 'happy,' 'sad,' and 'excited' will enable your child to associate the words with her feelings.