Why is play essential to your child’s development?

Our Columbus daycare staff weighs in on its importance.

Making time for play is not only fun for children, but also vital in your child’s development. As children play, they gather important skills that form the building blocks for many cognitive and physical activities.

Whether at a Columbus daycare or at home, toddlers’ brains are hard at work as they play and interact, forming the foundation for completing more difficult tasks like running, jumping and being physically active. Allowing your child plenty of time to play is not only a way to encourage development, but can also be a way to build relationships.

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Types of play

Different types of activities work to stimulate different parts of the brain, forming memories and concepts to apply to the future. Giving your child the opportunity to interact and play with different kinds of objects allows them to become more familiar with language, relationships and creativity.

  • Object play Object interaction stimulates a child’s brain. Essentially, a child is using all five senses when they are playing with objects, developing problem solving skills and a creative imagination while also building curiosity about the world around them. Using simple objects or toys can be a great way to experiment through touColumbus daycareching, throwing and pushing. Join your child to interact with them. Adding this social factor generates interpersonal and language skills.
  • Symbolic Play – Use objects such as cardboard boxes to represent something familiar like a bus. Add a role play element to the mix by transforming hairbrushes into microphones to sing into. Using every day household objects can spark creativity and learning during play time.
  • Social Play – Play dates with other children are not only stimulating, but also important throughout the first year of your child’s life. Infants like to look, laugh and play with other babies just as much as adults like to socialize. At Sprout Early Education Center, our programs allow children to interact and play to build relationships and interpersonal skills.

How much time should you allow for play?

As a general guideline, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE), advises roughly 30 minutes of structured play lead by an adult or 60 minutes of unstructured playtime is sufficient for developing those crucial skills that children need to develop.

Generally, children should not be inactive for more than an hour unless sleeping. This may be a lot of work for Columbus daycare staffs as well as parents, but getting outside or away from electronics is extremely important step for continued learning as well as staying active and healthy. Playing and learning is natural and fun for children. Giving your child as much time as they like to play will allow them to continue developing their skills under supervision, but make sure not to over do it. Each child has a different threshold for stimulation. If they become tired or fussy, it’s time for a break and/or some rest.

At Sprout Early Education Center in Downtown Columbus, our daycare center will offer your child the opportunity to enhance their social and developmental skills. We offer programs for ages six weeks to five years. Enroll today your child today.

 

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Photo credit (bottom right):jonny2love via Compfight cc

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