When we talk about little children and the things they typically hold dear, only two things may immediately pop into mind: toys and playtime. Children have such wondrous views of the world that unlike adults, they can easily escape their worries simply by imagining a brand new world and living in it at will with their toys in hand.
Sadly, the changes society have undergone seem to gradually take this privilege away from children. Most of the time, their schedules are so tightly wound up that there’s often not much room for playtime anymore. According to an article in the American Journal of Play, the amount of children’s playtime has drastically declined since 1955; leading to an increase in the number of anxious or depressed youngsters.
Better behavior – A 2009 study published in the journal Pediatrics have found that taking playtime away from schoolchildren is absolutely counterproductive. The researchers have noted that kids behaved much better in the classroom if they were given the chance to unwind in the playground with occasional breaks. Without enough time to play, children were prone to getting stressed, which may cause them to act cranky or even cry during sleep.
Playtime is a brain-builder – If you’ve ever seen children play, they seem to love assuming different roles and living in them, or solving problems on the fly. From that perspective, playtime not only works as an outlet but also as an intelligence builder. It stimulates children’s brains and makes them use logical reasoning at all times.
Improved social skills – Ask the staff from a local Plymouth preschool such as Crayon College on why they value playtime, and you’ll likely get this answer: it helps children foster relationships. A study published in the 2007 edition of the Early Childhood Education journal have concluded that adult-guided and free play helps preschoolers become more sensitive of other people’s feelings. While playing, they’re often tasked to exercise sharing, cooperation, and conflict resolution, all of which will surely help them later in their lives.
Physical exercise – Even simple activities like a round of dress-up gets kids moving much longer than TV or video games. According to the American Heart Association, children over age 2 should ideally engage in at least an hour of physical activity daily to help them become active adults.
(Source: The Many Benefits Of Play, Fisher Price)