Are you trying to balance play and academics with your young child? If so, then you should know about the benefits of play in cognitive development and early childhood development. Focusing on fun and games in the early years can actually increase your child’s intelligence more than traditional methods, making them empathic, socially aware problem solvers in the process.
Strategic play in early childhood is vital and you should know its value. Below, we discuss its importance in our must-know guide to early childhood development.
Play Stimulates Brain Development and Intelligence
Experiences are crucial to brain development, particularly in infancy. Synapses are the connections in the brain, which flourish during early childhood. Experiences, through touch, sight, sound, smells, and taste, help build and fill the synapses.
Play allows these senses to be explored in a safe environment. This is why many early childhood toys are filled with colors, sounds, and textures. They assist in building cognitive development through play.
Increasing Creativity in Early Childhood Development
A child that is creative is equipped to deal with a multitude of situations in various different ways. They embody divergent thinking. This is where multiple pathways in problem-solving are explored and analyzed.
There are two main schools of play that a child should be provided within an equal measure. Free play is a time that allows children to play as they wish, exploring their own interests. The other school is pretending play, in which a child has to act in a role, acting our scenarios and imagining them.
Grows Empathy and Social Interactions
Playing with others, be it, friends of the same age, kindergarten pals, parents, or siblings, are all opportunities to increase social skills. In particular, when children play together they learn to share, build self-control, and abide by rules. They also learn how to facilitate, help, and work as a team.
How to Create Opportunities for Play?
There are many schools of thought on how to integrate play into the daily routine of a child. Its value is often looked upon differently by cultures and systems.
For example, Southeast Asian cultures often have very regimented education systems. They omit to play in favor of academics from an early age. Some Western education systems such as Montessori and Waldorf schools have whole philosophies built around its values.
Play should be an integral part of a child’s daily routine. Play should be divided between free and pretend play. Some play should be with the parents, some with other children and some alone.
Once a week, try to integrate a playful experience into your child’s schedule. Plan fun activities, such as horse-riding. Buy children equestrian clothes and take them for a ride on horseback.
If animals are not for you, consider musical instrument lessons. Anything that also aids physical development can also enhance their cognitive development.
Enjoy the Time You Spend
In summary, play with your child in as many different and wonderful ways as you can. Provide them experiences so that they can grow. Most of all, enjoy your time with them and model great behavior as you do so.
If you enjoyed our tips on early childhood development, then you should visit the rest of our blog. We have a number of helpful articles on everything from physical development to product reviews and advice. Visit us now so we can help your child grow into the beautiful human you desire!