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The Power of Play

Playing & Creative Exploration Aid Child Development and Happiness

Children love to play and explore the world around them. Play is an important part of a child’s education and development because they interact with people and things in ways they wouldn’t normally. A child who plays with a doll will often talk to the doll and take care of it, mimicking what she has seen in her world as well as introducing her own imaginative ideas, feelings and expressions. Creative play and exploration have a wide variety of benefits for you and your child.

As a child plays on their own, they can learn how to entertain themselves and find a sense of happiness. Play is all about imagination, exploration and wonder. Creative play builds and satisfies curiosity, reduces stress, boosts energy levels and broadens the manner in which one thinks. Play and creative exploration enliven the soul and keep the body active too.

When children play together they often take on different roles than they would normally. Playing with other children is a great way to help a child adjust socially and feel comfortable with other children. These opportunities also help them to express themselves and solve problems.

Play also enhances the development of communication skills. When a child is engaged in play, he gets the opportunity to develop language and speech abilities as well as to practice listening. Whether the play is with a companion such as a peer, parent, sibling, or playing solo, kids talk, listen and imagine when playing. Children love interacting with toys, stuffed animals and a variety of other objects. Many toddlers prefer the cardboard box to it’s contents because they are fascinated with all they can do with this new found treasure.

One area of development you might not expect play and exploration to have an impact is in doing chores and learning to work. When you put on an apron and fill a sink with bubbles, a child is much more likely to be engaged in washing dishes when they can play and then later see the benefit of what they have been doing. Although this may lead to some wet kitchen floors, the effort pays off when children learn to work and enjoy doing so.

Play also helps a child feel happy by creating feelings of achievement and satisfaction. A child who plays regularly will be more happy than one who sets in front of the tv all day. Play also helps prevent boredom and keeps kids from complaining too much. Children love a buddy or friend to play with. Whenever you can make time to play with your child, especially when they ask you to, it will help build your relationship and bring you closer together.

Allowing your child to play can also help reduce stress and anxiety in certain situations. Consider role playing with a child that is afraid of going to the doctor. By playing ‘doctor or nurse’, a parent can act out what it’s like to get a shot or what to expect from a trip to the doctor. This will usually help them be less afraid as they go to the doctor because they will something of what they can expect, especially as you explain things in a safe and loving environment.

Role-playing and creative play are powerful activities that will continue to help your child grow and develop as they get older. It will continue to help them interact better with others and come up with creative solutions to the problems they face. This improved cognitive development, social enhancement and stress relief of course are not only available to children, but parents alike. So have fun, plan and improve your self-confidence and relationships. Allow your children to play and ensure that you play with them because play makes better, more fulfilled parents, and better, happier kids.

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