7 Feb 2014 | 2 min Read
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A child’s play is the most beautiful form of engagement. The importance of play in a child’s life can never be underestimated. It is one of the factors that leads to a healthy and well balanced development of the body and the mind. Here are 5 reasons why your child should play or, should be engaged in sports.
Play develops physical skills such as gross and fine motor development, and social skills such as language and communication. It encourages creativity, and can develop higher order thinking skills. It prepares a child for life by imparting valuable lessons in caring, taking turns, winning, and losing.
The incidence of play starts early in life – a new born baby is capable of enjoying songs sung, music played, and observing objects of different colours, shapes and sizes. (Incidentally, black and white are the first colours that babies can distinguish.) As a baby grows, so does its capacity for play. And, as the complexity of play grows, it contributes in a large way to a child’s understanding of many concepts, both concrete and abstract.
We can broadly divide play into two kinds – structured and unstructured play. Both types have their merits and children will engage in both enthusiastically. Structured play is organized – for example, board or card games, and team games such as football and cricket. Activities like swimming dance, drama, music, can also be included in this category. Typically there are rules to be followed and some sort of adult supervision.
Unstructured play is generally spontaneous, creative, and imaginative. Children take charge of the moment or environment they are in, and start playing or exploring on their own. This is the best type of play for it fosters many desirable attributes such as independent thinking, decision making, problem solving, and leadership, to mention a few.
In today’s fast-paced world where often both parents are working, play is an area where parents can spend quality time with their children. A strong sense of bonding exists in a family that plays together. A child’s self-esteem is boosted, and it grows closer to its parents. Parent-child play is stress reducing for parents and it sends positive messages to the child.
So go ahead – have fun, play!
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