The importance of play

Play is vital to the healthy development of children. Through play, children learn about themselves and the world around them and develop key skills in social, physical and communication areas.

Why is play important?

Play is essential to brain development; by playing together your child will learn and develop in many different ways:

  • Confidence building
  • Feeling loved, happy and safe
  • Social skills, language and communication
  • Empathy and caring for others and the environment
  • Physical skills such as gross and fine motor

Different types of play

Unstructured or free play is really important for young children. Being creative and using our imagination helps children develop language and communication skills and sets them up for learning throughout life. Ideas for free play include:

  • Playing dress-ups
  • Making a cubby house
  • Playing outside in nature, your backyard or the local park and playground
  • Creating art or music

Structured play happens at a fixed time and place and usually follows a set of rules. These types of activities include

  • music, art or swimming classes,
  • organised sport,
  • family board games.

Guiding children to develop creativity

Children naturally have amazing imaginations and this creativity can be nurtured through experimenting with sound by singing or making music, playing with colours while painting and using expressions or actions to show feelings or tell a story.

The Grovedale Toy Library has many toys to meet both unstructured and structured play requirements.

Visit us every Saturday morning from 9.30-11.30am during school terms.

Raising Children –
The Early Years Count –

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