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The Importance of Play to Child Development

by Gabriel Cooper

Play is almost synonymous with childhood. It is the centre of a child’s learning and development. However, with excessive screen time, limited outdoor areas, and increasing academic and economic pressure, many children are not getting the benefits of good old play.

As parents, we must strive to provide our child with equal amounts of structured and unstructured play for the following reasons:

Cognitive Development

Play promotes critical thinking, introduces the concept of cause and effect, and reinforces memory—all of these are fundamentals of intellectual development. It also helps them explore the world safely and figure out their roles in the community. For example, a Little Tikes Discover Sound Kitchen can introduce essential kitchen items and safety measures, like using gloves when handling a hot pot.

Playsets made of simple blocks inspire imagination. With these toys, children are required to conceptualize and re-imagine. Don’t worry about the clutter because you can borrow toys from Richmond toy library services.

Physical Development

Play contributes a lot to the development of fine and gross motor skills of a child.

Luke Wood, Monkeyfoodz wellness coach, believes that play is fundamental to physical development. He says, “Children learn to understand spatial relations during play. As they run, swim, jump, and climb, they learn to plan motor skills and improve balance, flexibility, and awareness.”

He adds, “Just remember the safety precautions when providing your child with opportunities to explore their motor skills. Always fit them with safety gear and never take your eyes off them.”

Fine motor skills can also be improved with simpler toys, such as the Bead Frame and Magnetic Attraction.

Social Development

Playtime offers children a chance to interact with other people of their age. Through this activity, they learn to share, take turns, listen, wait, work with others and speak their minds.

It gives them an initial understanding of the social norms and expectations, such as asking permission before borrowing another person’s toy. Fortunately, the Richmond Toy Library offers party packs! You won’t have to stress over setting up an activity for kids because they’ve created fun and exciting activities that come with all the necessary toys and equipment.

Emotional Development

Children learn to process emotions and learn new emotional concepts by playing. For example, when they lose a game, they learn to manage their sadness, anger, and frustration. They may not react appropriately in the beginning, but their response will improve as they begin to understand that it happens and that they can start over again.

Playing can also boost confidence and identity development.

The Benefit of Simpler Toys

Children can learn more with open-ended toys, such as blocks, balls, and small tools. Learning happens as children use these toys in multiple ways.

Sometimes an object’s purpose is clear like a play food set is for pretending you’re a chef. Sometimes its purpose is unclear and only relies on the child's creativity, like blocks and magnets.

Learning through play can be enhanced by your presence. Strive to spend quality time with your child to create more meaningful playtime. You can guide your child in figuring out challenging situations, from puzzles to inviting another child to play. It’s also a chance to have more profound talks with him/her, which might be difficult at other times of the day.

Richmond Toy Library provides children with learning and development opportunities through play. Borrow toys from our library to reduce spending and clutter and to teach your children of mindful habits. It’s also good for the environment. Become a member now!


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