Play has long been viewed as an important part of being a child, for helping to promote physical, psychological, and social development. Today, science has uncovered that play is even more important than previously thought. Here are five amazing benefits of play:
1. Improved physical health: Play promotes kids’ physical development, helping them to stay active and build strength, coordination, balance, and agility. It also has the ability to promote physical fitness. Activities like playing tag, hide and seek, and conquering an obstacle course are fun and encourage kids to continue playing. Win, win for everyone!
2. Play Builds Strong and Complex Brains: Activities such as board games, pretend play and problem-solving tasks can help children learn new skills and practice logic and thinking. Do you remember Kris Kringle in the Miracle on 34th St. teaching Susan how to pretend she was an animal? The joy on her face was magic and it can be yours too!
3. Improved social skills: Through social play, children can learn how to take turns and interact with peers, developing empathy, negotiation, and teamwork skills. There are lots of different types of play, but these are the benefits of playing with others.
4. Stress relief: Play can be a great way for children to unwind, relax and reduce stress. We could all take a lesson on this one. Parents and children alike NEED to unwind and learn to do that in a healthy and productive way.
5. Creative expression: Play lets children explore their imaginations and express themselves, which helps to build self-esteem. There are no wrong imaginary situations. Instant accomplishment!
Here are three ways to creatively add more play to your day!
1. Try doing parkour out on a family walk at the park, or at Swift Movement parkour gym or similar gym near you.
2. Create an obstacle course inside or outside that everyone must go through to get to the kitchen or TV room, with things you have around the house. Make it even more challenging by timing it!
3. When it’s time to clean up, turn up the music for one or two songs and see how fast they get their room or house picked up!
It’s never too late for people of all ages to benefit from play. So take time to imagine, climb, run and jump, sing, dance, paint, or whatever brings you happiness. Have fun and take time to master the art!
Blog borrowed from Fitness in Motion.