Play is a natural and essential part of a child’s life. Oversight of playing can become one of the more enjoyable aspects of parenting. As parents watch their children play, it can be a source of joy. However, in addition to the enjoyment that playing can bring to children, parents should be glad to know that play will also help their children learn more about their world.

Children Learn by Playing Games

According to the National Association for the Education of Children, playing helps children develop cognitive skills. They learn to count when jumping rope, or by taking turns. Games teach communication skills when children act out their fantasy duels or by playing “house.” While they play, children also develop curiosity and confidence.

Babies Learn Through Their Senses

Play can be part of the lives of children under the age of one. As soon as your children smile, you can smile in return as they experience playful interactions with you. Offer children brightly-colored and musical toys, so they can use their senses in playful activities. Older babies need plenty of room to crawl and explore their surroundings.

Preschoolers Learn through Activities

Children older than one should begin learning healthy and enjoyable ways to socialize with other children. During the preschool years, you can help them prepare for school by allowing their playtime to include activities that can increase their cognitive skills. Let them use empty containers and wooden spoons to explore their ability to make sounds. To help them appreciate the beauty of words and music, read books and sing songs with them.

Outdoor Play Can Enhance Learning

Being outdoors will open a new range of possibilities for your children’s play opportunities. According to Forbes, over 80% of homeowners in the U.S. have shown an increased interest in remodeling their outdoor properties. Those who engage in these remodeling activities have reported their desire to upgrade these spaces has increased since before the pandemic. The beauty of nature and the increased oxygen available during outdoor play will give your children many hours of priceless fun.

Learning Often Includes a Physical Element

Exercise provides multiple benefits for your child’s body, but it will also let them know how their body works. As they run and climb, they will feel the stretch of their legs. When they play with stuffed animals, blocks, and beads, they’ll explore textures and dimensions. As they run through the neighborhood, they’ll learn the capacities and limits of their heart and lungs.

Special Children Require a Unique Approach

Children sometimes have mental challenges, and parents must learn how to adapt their children’s play activities to their mental health disorders. For example, according to the UF Department of Psychiatry, OCD may begin at any age between preschool and adulthood (most often by age 40.) If your child has OCD, don’t prevent them from performing the rituals that comfort them. Find a helpful activity your child enjoys, such as folding laundry or arranging their toys – and enlist your child’s assistance to transform that activity into a game.

Utilize Technology in Your Children’s Games

According to Facts.net, electricity usage began in the early 1800s and quickly increased. Since then, electricity and technology have improved almost every aspect of life. Many educational websites are available to help children acquire educational knowledge and play many educational games. In addition, the internet provides information for parents about games and play for children with a wide variety of interests. Play is intended to be a source of enjoyment, but child development experts have noted the many other benefits of the game. As part of the parenting process, parents can happily encourage their children to play. Each aspect of play can become the key to learning, social skills, and readiness for future professions. The next time you watch your children play, seize the opportunity to join in – and enjoy the experience with them.