Parents and educators often think of play as frivolous and a waste of time. But did you know that play is essential to a child’s development? Play allows children to explore their creativity, work through emotions, and develop new skills. And active play, in particular, has many benefits. Here’s a closer look at why active play is so important and how it can help children learn new abilities.
Active play is any type of play that involves physical activity.
This can include playing tag, climbing on the monkey bars, riding a bike, or dancing around the living room. Anything that gets kids moving counts as active play! And active play has many benefits for children.
For one, active play helps children develop gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are the large movements we use to control our bodies, like walking, running, and jumping. These skills develop gradually over time as children learn to control their muscles. Active play gives children opportunities to practice using their gross motor skills and get better at them over time.
In addition to developing gross motor skills, the active play also helps children develop fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the small movements we use to control our hands and fingers, like writing or buttoning a shirt. Like gross motor skills, fine motor skills develop gradually as children learn to control their muscles. Active play gives children opportunities to practice using their fine motor skills and get better at them over time.
Finally, active play helps children develop social and emotional skills. When children engage in active play with other kids, they must communicate and cooperate. This helps them develop social and emotional skills like empathy, cooperation, and self-control. Active play is also a great way for children to release energy and work through strong emotions like frustration or anger in a healthy way.
As you can see, active play is essential for children’s development. It helps them develop gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and social and emotional skills. So next time your child wants to go outside and run around or have a dance party in the living room, say yes! Encourage your child to get moving and watch them thrive!