Big Kids at Play: Things they Learn
Playing is a big and essential part of growing up for children. Children of all ages enjoy playful activities and learn a lot in the process. They develop several social skills, the ability to think creatively, explore relationships, and gather knowledge about the world. Thus, it is essential that parents promote their playing, especially in the preteen years.
Playing has a lot of positive impact on children. It helps in fostering learning and development, and it is something that they enjoy doing, at all stages. Infants explore things around them through their senses while parents help in their development by playing with them. Toddlers also engage in a lot of playful activities, trying to imitate people around them. As they grow older, children get involved in play activities even more. This way, they expand their knowledge, develop various skills, and learn to interact with their peers.
What are The Different Activities Big Kids Enjoy?
- Active play includes climbing, riding, jumping, running, swimming, dancing, skipping etc.
- Quiet play includes stringing, colouring, reading, etc.
- Social play comprises activities and games involving more than one person
- Solitary play includes activities that kids enjoy doing alone like drawing, or dreaming
- Manipulative play includes joining puzzles, building blocks, art and craft or activities that require hand and eye coordination
- Creative activities include solving problems, making music, telling stories, painting, molding and other activities which involve the child’s imagination.
Older children enjoy most of the above activities. These categories overlap each other and one activity can fall into more than one categories. Older children have different likes and dislikes. However they should attempt to understand each type of activity and engage in all of them to promote their overall development.
How Different Plays Impact Kids?
Games such as blocks and puzzles help in problem solving. With blocks kids can learn how to face problems in life. How to build a castle, what are the ways to balance it well etc. It can also establish the ideas of sizes and shapes. Similarly, puzzles can help them learn math solving.
Fine Motor Development
This can be learnt by doing fun activities such as stringing laces. It helps in fine muscle control and also makes them more efficient with motor control. Kicking balls during play can also contribute in better coordinating movements of your child.
Language and Vocabulary Development
This is well learnt when your child socialises with other kids during play. They can also learn things such as team efforts and leadership.
Changing Mindsets of Children About Play
Over the years, the definition of play has changed. The amount of time spent in playing has also reduced considerably. Older children are now trying to match up to the competitive environment. Over-scheduling, too much emphasis on academics and influence of television and movies is adversely affecting their healthy playtime. Children are spending too much time in studies or with gadgets, and playing less.
The digital age has also greatly affected children’s play. Life is getting faster and access to information on the internet and communication through mobile phones and the advancement of technology is building up pressure on kids to do more, leading to higher expectations from them. This has resulted in the mentality of indulging more into academics for children.
Play has lot of benefits and parents should teach their children the importance of it. Play not only helps them grow and develop, but also develops in them a lifelong love for learning. The healthy play activities that parents support today help their children prepare for entering into the world where they will work and learn as adults.