Benefits Of Play

Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via NAPA Center
NAPA Center
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

“Play is an essential part of child growth and development. It is one of the central ways in which children learn valuable life skills. Through play, children learn all about how to socialize with others, express their creativity and imagination, and develop their language and cognitive skills,” states the NAPA Center.

child with down syndrome swinging, with adult standing in the background. Text says "Play is more important than you think."

Play can benefit the child’s physical, social and emotional health.

Physical Benefits Of Play

Playing can encourage children to get outdoors which encourages healthy physical development. The NAPA Center says that active play can be very beneficial to children with muscular or joint illnesses. The constant movement in outdoor games like hopscotch, jumping rope, handball, or trampolining can lead to improvements in muscular strength and joint flexibility.

“Playing outdoor games and activities teaches children how to actively use their bodies and build their energy.”

The NAPA Center states, “Trampolining, in particular, is very effective in improving children’s motor skills and development as it requires the control of various muscles and limbs at the same time. Unlike other activities, jumping on a trampoline has low impact on joints. This means that kids can jump and bounce as high as they want without putting as much pressure on their joints.”

Social Benefits Of Play

Playgroups are a way for children to develop and learn social skills. “Group play teaches children how to work in groups, get along with others, and solve conflicts in a fun, stress-free environment,” says the NAPA Center.

Children learn how to communicate with others about the rules, share materials, and cooperate in taking turns. They also learn how to appreciate the feelings of their peers and different points of views.

Emotional Benefits Of Play

Children with disabilities can often experience periods of stress. Playing gives them an outlet for their stress.

“Play can ultimately help (children) gain a sense of belonging and make them feel more positive about themselves and their capabilities.”

Playing can help a child gain self-confidence and personal satisfaction. For example, when a child accomplishes a physical task, like swinging across the monkey bars.

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