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Top Benefits Of Play Revealed

Team StoryWeavers|February 3, 2021|

Benefits of Play

Most parents and teachers are aware that children explore the world through playing and learn many life skills along the way. ‘Undirected play’ teaches children ways to work in groups, negotiate, share, and resolve conflicts. Whereas when play is controlled by adults, children tend to learn adult rules or concerns and lose other benefits. A paper published by American Academy of Pediatrics lists a few factors why playtime for some children has been reduced considerably in the last few years. Major factors included  hurried lifestyles, changing family structures, and a lack of recess. 

In this article, we will cover: 

What Is Play?

The book Human Development by D. A. Louw lists characteristics of play, according to researchers Garvey (1977)  and Grieve (1992). 

They are as follows:

  • Play is an enjoyable activity for the player. 
  • Play is a voluntary and spontaneous activity chosen by the player. 
  • Play demands the player to be actively involved in the activity. 
  • Play is intrinsically motivated and does not need external motivation. 
  • Play requires the player to focus on the activity and not on the outcome. 
  • Play allows children to escape from reality. 

Benefits Of Play For Children

The report published by the Toy Industries of Europe in 2021, Play In Children’s Development, Health And Well-being, lists a few benefits of play for children. 

  • Play provides certain emotional and behavioural benefits for children such as:
    • Reduces fear, anxiety, and irritability
    • Enhances self-esteem and creates joy
    • Increases resilience and adaptability
    • Creates the ability to deal with surprise and change
  • Play also provides social benefits to children such as:
    • Enhances empathy and compassion levels, and encourages sharing
    • Models relationships based on inclusion
    • Improves non-verbal skills 
    • Increases attachment and attention span
  • Play provides children with numerous physical benefits such as:
    • Increases the efficiency of endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems
    • Decreases fatigue and stress
    • Increases agility, balance, and flexibility
    • Aids the exploration of gross motor skills and fine motor skills

Playing is an important part of childhood development. Parents can encourage their children to play for a certain amount of time every day to get these benefits. They can help by setting an age-appropriate playroom for children. Playing every day will certainly benefit the children in the long run. 

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About the Author

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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as complements unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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