Play is important because it helps children grow strong and healthy.
When children run, jump, roll, throw, catch, or swing they are building muscles. They burn energy that makes them tired and hungry. Physical play improves strength, endurance, and balance. Body coordination improves when children play in physical ways. Physical play helps
children sleep and eat better.
Play is important because children can learn about the meaning of things in the world.
Games help children learn what words mean, like "stop" or "go." Play with sand and buckets help children learn what "full" or "empty" means. They learn to collect and use information. They learn about time. They discover how things feel and taste. Children learn about art, science, math, music, nature, animals, and people when they play.
Play is important because it helps children learn about people.
While playing, children will learn to take turns and share. They will act out their feelings, listen and talk to playmates, and follow rules. They will try leading and following. They will start to understand themselves and others. Play helps them know what they like and what they don't like. During play they can pretend what it's like to be someone else, like a firefighter, doctor, mother, or teacher. They can pretend they are a baby or grandfather.
Play is important because it helps children learn and grow in a way that helps them feel good about themselves.
Children enjoy play. It is easier to learn when we are relaxed. We remember things we've done when the things were fun. Even when play is hard, children are excited when they discover that they can control their bodies and actions. "I did it!" means "I feel good about me." Good play offers children success.
Play is important because it is practice for being grown-up.
Children at play learn to pay attention and to stick with a job. They learn to face problems and solve them. Play helps them learn what is right and wrong. They learn to be good sports, honest, and not to cheat. Children develop their imagination when they play. They learn to follow directions. All these skills will be important when children become grownups.
KINDS OF PLAY
Did you ever think about all the different ways children play? You could make a long list, but it is easier to remember if we put them into groups.
ACTIVE, PHYSICAL PLAY
Children are supposed to be active. They will swing, cut, saw, pound, roll, spin, and run. They will have contests and races. They will form teams and play "red rover" or jump rope alone. Children need lots of space for playing ball, but not much space to play jacks. Children enjoy dancing.
DRAMATIC, IMAGINATIVE PLAY
This kind of play is make-believe play where children can act out their wishes: "I wish I were a princess; let's pretend we're going to the moon; let's play dress-up; I'll be a firefighter." Children can pretend they are anything - a person, animal, car, or even a banana! Children can act out stories, write a play, or have a circus.
CREATIVE, EXPRESSIVE PLAY
Children are free to create new things - pictures, designs, ways to do things. They paint, cut, sew, draw, build, twist, and write. They sing, hum, whistle, or beat a drum.
Young children like to play alone, but around 3 years they will begin to play with others. Think of all the things two or more children can do together. Social play is interaction between children. Group games, races, talking to each other on toy telephones, and playing house are social activities.
Mental play is exploring and discovering. Words, numbers, touching, tasting, and seeing are part of mental play. Children use their minds to remember what cards have been played and plan how to win a card game. A baby learns that someone picks up what the baby drops from the high chair. It becomes a "game." Children count and read. They start collections; butterflies, stamps, insects, and coins and learn to classify them. It is fun to find a new thing to add to a collection. Children tell jokes and riddles about flowers on a nature walk, and learn colors from balloons.
Great articles to share : national network for childcare