2019 is underway….OK – 2 weeks into the New Year. The rest of the holiday decorations are put away and celebrations are at an end. Although there are 256,894 new toys in the house, the children are ‘bored’. The question of the day is, are the children really bored and do they need to be taught how to play? For some of our loved ones, play is NOT as innate as it is for others. Play is definitely a skill that needs and should be taught from a very young age. Parents need to ‘teach’ and be part of the art of play.
Play is the ‘work’ of childhood. Play is the official format of therapy for the majority of children as well. The reasons are many but here are a few examples of how teaching to how play benefits a child’s language and overall development.
Play increases a child’s ability to process and practice emotions. Through imaginative play children can act out emotions of fear, anger, etc. as well as practice empathy and understanding. Play also provides children with a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction, which help to build confidence and self-esteem.
Play increases a child’s social skills. Through the art of play, a child learns to navigate turn-taking, sharing, and overall group dynamics. Play provides the opportunity to develop friendships and practice compromise.
Play increases a child’s cognitive ability and brain development. Through play a child gains reasoning, attention, and memory skills as well as problem solving skills – all important and crucial for success academically and socially.
Play increases a child’s communication skills. Plays provides a safe, unassuming venue to practice sentence structures, sound effects and overall listening skills. Plays helps to facilitate initiating, maintain and concluding conversations – with real or imaginative friends. Play also provides children with the opportunity to work on recognizing non-verbal cues and body language.
So much goes into playing. It can be exhausting for both child and adult, but worth every glorious moment. Now stop reading and get out there and PLAY!
Yours in Speech,
Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC