Have you ever thought about play as a necessity? For young children, it is! In a world where productivity is so highly valued, often we look for more programs and extra-curricular activities for our children to participate in. While there are many worthwhile activities they can be involved in, we often overlook simple, free, undirected play!
Why is play so important?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, when young children play together, they learn:
- How to cooperate
- When to lead and when to follow
- How to solve problems
Ways to play!
There are so many ways to help facilitate play in young children. It can be inexpensive, too! A few ideas could be:
Recycle old clothes or Halloween costumes as dress-ups!
No need to buy new dress-ups, just recycle old clothes or Halloween costumes. Let your child pick an outfit and act out a scene from their favorite book or movie! We recycled so many costumes in my family. In the first picture, my older sister is wearing my mom's old dance outfit. In the second picture, her little girl is wearing the same one! Homemade, recycled dress-ups are fun and allow kids to participate in dramatic play. This can help attention span, creativity and early literacy skills!
Use things around your house!
There is no need to buy expensive toys. Kids really can be entertained with the simplest things. Give your child some plastic cups and see how high he can stack them! Not sure what to do with old boxes? You can tape them shut, paint them or wrap them in paper then build a castle and knock it down. Put some soap, water and food coloring in a jar and shake it up! Save your old toilet paper rolls and make binoculars. Then use them to see the airplanes in the sky. Visit our Pinterest boards for additional simple, inexpensive ways to play!
Let them be kids!
Children learn by exploring, questioning, making messes and having fun. Set boundaries to make sure they are safe, and remember to let them be kids. It may be a little crazy but it'll be worth it!
What are some of you kids favorite ways to play? Let us know in the comments!