For a very long time, play was considered frivolous. It was, and still is to some, what children do because they have no work. However, in some ways, it is their work. As children go through preschool, they should be learning how to socialize and getting a grip on their motor skills. Play helps engage this, as well as critical and creative thinking skills. Not only is play necessary, but it should be encouraged.
It’s easy to get caught up in the traditional elements of schooling, after all, organized schooling for the general public is very recent. Up until the 20th century, it was rare for children in most countries to have an education unless they were very wealthy or privileged. While the traditional subjects may be serving us well in a number of ways, there is still a long way to go in terms of the best overall approach, but one thing is clear. Play matters to your child and their development, and possibly even to their relationships.
Why Play is Important to Young Children
Pediatricians agree that free play is essential for the well being of young children, as it offers them an opportunity to engage with their guardians as well as their peers. It benefits the social, cognitive, physical, and emotional well being of your children and getting those benefits is as simple as letting it happen. Unfortunately, however, that’s growing more and more unlikely to happen, as many kids lead busier lives, with more dynamic families, that emphasize the need for early academics and “enrichment activities.”
Play, and imagination, actually serve a big role in your child developing. During play, your child gets to work in a world where they are masters of their domain. This allows them to build new skills, their confidence, and their resiliency in future situations. It’s important as well to not have too many guidelines to play, which is why we put emphasis on “free” play time. The more structure you put on it, the less effective it may be. Child-driven play encourages children to practice skills, decision making, self-advocacy, and more, and we take away that power when we structure their day or their play too much.
How It’s Incorporated
While the Brightside Academy is here to get your child off to a fast start, and as much as we know playing an instrument or learning a sport can be beneficial to a child, we don’t underestimate the value of play in our preschool, toddler, or infant programs. While there are plenty of activities to encourage group play or growth on particular skills, there’s also plenty of time set aside for kids to be kids and to have the time for free play that they need.
Start With The Brightside Academy Today
At the Brightside Academy, we take a whole person approach to your child’s early education and school readiness, and that means taking into account what the science says is best for your child. That means having play time set aside. To get started with a forward thinking and effective preschool, toddler, or infant care program, contact the Brightside Academy today in Toledo, Akron, Columbus, or Cleveland!