While your child is having fun, they’re also learning valuable life skills. Here are five of them.
All kinds of playing can teach your child important life lessons, from filling up cups with water to kicking a ball or telling a story.
Communicating is one of the most vital life skills, and your child can pick up valuable communication skills through imaginative play. Storytelling using props, playing with other children and reading books all teach language lessons. Studies show that early language development can help build good social skills as well as increase your child’s chances of developing a life-long interest in reading.
Puzzles, sorting and counting games and blocks can teach your child how to problem solve through experimentation. They can also start figuring out how cause and effect work. Learning the skills necessary for logic and reasoning can emerge through this type of play.
Fine motor skills include dexterity of the hands and fingers, mostly used in writing, drawing and cutting. Young children can learn at an early age to string beads or macaroni onto a piece of string, pick up puzzle pieces and fit them together, or start scribbling with crayons. Gross motor activities like sports or playing on a jungle gym help develop a child’s large muscle group, build strength and can get rid of excess energy.
Social and emotional skills
Playing together forces children to consider the perspectives of others. Through outside free play as well as more structured activities like board games or team games, they learn meaning and understand different emotions and how to interact with others. Not only that, they also learn empathy and to adapt to new ideas and quick changes in the way a game is played.
There would be no great artists without imagination. Imaginative play may not necessarily mean your child will become an artist, but it may help them adapt to new situations, learn creativity and develop vital problem-solving skills.
Playing comes naturally to most children and what might just seem like a bit of fun could actually be teaching them necessary life skills. Does your child have a favourite game?