Activities

 

Young children have a compulsion to move. Allowing them to do so, and providing safe and age-appropriate challenges, allows them to increase their confidence as well as develop their resilience through risk-taking. Of course, gross motor skills also receive a mighty boost.

How play helps children’s development

Playing is a natural and enjoyable way for children to keep active, stay well and be happy. Freely chosen play helps children and young people’s healthy development. To have good physical and mental health and to learn life skills, they need various unstructured play opportunities from birth until they’re teenagers.

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Freely chosen play

Freely chosen play is when a child decides and controls their play following their own instincts, imagination and interests.  They play without being led by adults. There’s no right or wrong way to play. Freely chosen play improves children’s health, well-being and development. 

Why play is important

Play improves the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and young people. Through play, children learn about the world and themselves. They also learn skills they need for study, work and relationships such as:

  • confidence
  • self-esteem
  • resilience
  • interaction
  • social skills
  • independence
  • curiosity
  • coping with challenging situations

Developing physical health through play

Physical play such as running, skipping and riding a bicycle helps children develop:

  • good physical fitness
  • agility
  • stamina
  • co-ordination
  • balance

Developing social skills through play

Playing can help children develop their social skills with others. By listening, paying attention and sharing play experiences, this helps a child:

  • explore their feelings
  • develop self-discipline
  • learn how to express themselves
  • work out emotional aspects of life