The game is the main activity of the child during his first years of life, it is the one to which he dedicates more desire, energy, and above all, in which he puts more enthusiasm. It is estimated that More than 60% of the time that a child spends awake is dedicated to playing, and the best thing is that he does it of his own free will, naturally. In fact, it is the only activity that does not require instruction because the child plays almost instinctively.
Therefore, children’s play is much more than just fun: it is a learning process for adult life through which the child learns everything about his environment. It is not in vain that many say that it is the first rehearsal of life. Through play, the child begins to interact with everything that surrounds him, knows his environment and develops his skills.
Five reasons to encourage play during childhood
1. Develops motor skills
The playful activity is a great exercise for the child to develop her gross motor skills. It allows to improve balance and hand-eye coordination, while it becomes a perfect training to consolidate physical exercises such as walking, jumping and running. In addition, it is perfect for stimulating fine motor skills through grasping toys and drawing.
2. Stimulates intellectual and cognitive development
Play is a vital activity in the cognitive and intellectual development of a child. Through playful activity, the child can represent the world around him by establishing his own symbols to imitate the attitudes and behaviors of adults. In fact, through this imitation game, the child assimilates the content of her environment based on specific models to, later, recreate more abstract and creative situations. Throughout this process, perception, thinking, creativity and imagination are developed, while learning new problem-solving strategies.
3. Models the personality
Through play, the child assimilates different attitudes and ways of acting appropriate to his environment and little by little, he develops his own tastes, interests, ways of behaving and relating to others. the rest; that is, he molds her personality. In this process, self-concept, self-esteem and self-worth are also formed and consolidated, while emotional expression is stimulated. In addition, play is a great way for children to develop skills that They will allow you to deal with conflicts or everyday situations such as school problems, the birth of a sibling or changing schools.
4. It favors communication and social interaction
Interacting with adults and other children through play is much easier than doing it directly. Therefore, children use playful activities as a tool to communicate with the people around them and make new friends. Therefore,play becomes the first socializing agent because it is through it that the child, who has not yet learned to relate to others, manages to establish new relationships. In addition, it is a way great for developing communication skills and language.
5. It promotes autonomy
As the child grows and begins to explore her environment, learn from it. He begins to know different objects, to experience new experiences and to discover things that he did not know. He also discovers what he likes and doesn’t like, and establishes personal guidelines that differentiate him from others. In this way, the child begins to be interested in what he really likes and pays special attention to the games he prefers. In this process, he develops a certain level of autonomy, separating himself from his parents and gaining independence.