Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Play Strengthens Your Child’s Development

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Have you heard the phrase, “Play is a child’s work?” It’s true. Play strengthens all aspects of your child's development. I’ll share a few examples of the benefits of play in different developmental domains.


Communication


·       Play increases your child’s vocabulary, especially if playing alongside a parent or peer.
·         Your child comprehends language before being able to express it. Telling stories with big words helps build comprehension.
·         In the early stages of communication, imitation becomes a critical foundation for future communication. Through play, children have opportunities to imitate 2-3 word sentences.
·         When he pretends to be a robot or community helper such as a fire fighter, he develops the same skills needed to write a poem or story. (PAT)

Gross Motor


·         Play allows your child to explore the world around him as he uses his arms, legs and other large muscle groups to sit, crawl, walk, run, climb, throw and catch, and chase!
·         Gross motor skills allow a child to be able to do things for themselves, such as walk to get from one place to another or move out of the way in times of emergencies.
·         Play builds confidence in your child as he participates in games with other children.
·         Play results in better health through exercise and releases stress and frustration.

Fine Motor

·         Play helps a child learn the coordination and movements of the hands and fingers.
·         Play unlocks a child’s creativity as they color, cut, glue and rearrange objects.
·         Play allows a child to engage in other activities such as eating with utensils and reading books by being able to turn the individual pages.
·         Play prepares a child to learn in school by being able to write and complete homework assignments.

Problem Solving

·         Play helps a child play with toys and solve problems.
·         Playing opens his mind by seeing toys in different ways and allows him to problem solve and find solutions.
·         By being able to play, a child learns more about cause and effect.
·         Your child develops persistence, and increases his attention span and his ability to focus—these skills will help your child be successful in school. (PAT)

Personal-Social

·         Your child is able to help himself and be independent in age- appropriate activities.
·         By playing with your child, you build attachment. A strong attachment helps him be self-confident and secure enough to enjoy playing with his peers. (PAT)
·         When your child plays with others, he learns to cooperate, take another perspective, share, negotiate, and help others. (PAT)
·         He’ll be able to express his feelings through play even if he doesn't have the words to verbalize them.
- Rebekah

Source: where indicated as (PAT), this information was taken from a handout from Parents as Teachers.

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