The importance of play….

Another excellent day of break. The children played in the garden, enjoying the beautiful weather.

I discussed the importance of children just ‘being’ yesterday.

Letting children play and use their imaginations is a vital part of the growing up process. Children need ‘play’ to develop their physical and emotional states. Speech and language development is also greatly enhanced by ‘play.’ Therefore, it is something we should be promoting with our children by allowing them different experiences and stimuli to use as part of the ‘play’ process.

My children are quite spread apart by age, almost seven years, but that does not stop my eldest from participating in role play and imagined experiences with my youngest child. In fact, they both become so enveloped by their ‘make believe’ story that you wouldn’t think they were so different in age. That is not to say that my eldest suddenly spirals back to being silly and childish, but that my youngest is somehow brought up to her level where they can ‘play’ together and not have age be a limitation in their interactions.

Many children who are on the cusp of becoming teenagers often aren’t given the opportunity for ‘role play’ any more. They are suddenly catapulted into the world of responsibility where there is no longer a place for such frivolity. This is a shame. They are made to grow up too quickly when they really are still ‘children.’

I love to see my children able to play together in such a carefree way. Neither of them is worried about what the other one is thinking or anyone else for that matter. While they play they learn new ways of doing things, new ways to get along, they begin to form a stronger bond with each other, they learn about the world around them, they learn to inquire and to investigate the world around them. They learn to be happy together and on their own…..finding things to amuse and entertain themselves……learning all the time…..

This is crucial for all children to experience and we should be allowing children of all ages to freely engage in ‘play,’ without taking it away from them too quickly….

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