Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized as a right of every child. But even those children who are living in first world countries may not be enjoying the full benefits of play. Many of these children are being raised in an increasingly hurried environment that there is a reduction in time for free play.
Play is essential to children because it contributes to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. It is also the ideal opportunity for parents and educators to engage fully with their children.
Some benefits of play:
- develops creativity and imagination
- develops the muscles in the body
- develops cognition
- develops social skills (e.g. share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, self-advocacy)