What is Play?
Play - Ask a child what is most important in their life and they will say playing. Playing could mean playing on their own, or it could mean playing with their friends. But play is important to them. Play is having fun --- but it's not just that - Play develops a child's social emotional, intellectual and physical development.
So what does 'playing' actually mean?
The definition of play. Well if you looked up the word in a dictionary you would find many different ways of describing what play is. Here are just some of them:
Engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.
Engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment.
Amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence.
The action or manner of engaging in a sport or game.
When you play, especially as a child, you spend time doing an enjoyable and/or entertaining activity.
And the list goes on. But play is just children using their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. . ... It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play is important to healthy brain development.
Research shows that play has many benefits for children, families and the wider community, as well as improving health and quality of life. Children need time and space to play and the opportunity to socialise with their friends.
Is it just children that play?
Hopefully not. While play is crucial for a child’s development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.
You can play on your own or with a pet, but for greater benefits, play should involve at least one other person, away from the sensory-overload of electronic gadgets.
Does play help with learning?
Play can help
increase self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-respect
improve and maintain physical and mental health
give opportunities to mix with other children
allow increase of confidence through developing new skills
promote their imagination, independence and creativity
offer opportunities for children of all abilities and backgrounds to play together
provide opportunities for developing social skills and learning
build resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving, and dealing with new and novel situations
provide opportunities to learn about their environment and the wider community.
WHY PLAY? - WHY NOT? As the website grows I will be adding more and more activities that promote play. Check back often to look for new ideas.
If you have any great activities that you wouldn't mind sharing then get in touch.