The Importance of Play
As a parent and more notably, a qualified and experienced early years professional, I can only begin to express how important play is for a child's development by saying that it is actually recognised as a human right of every child by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights & forms a big part of the UK National Framework for education (EYFS) in children 0-5 years. Yes, it really is THAT important!
Why? Well, play has been determined as essential for optimal development in allowing a child to reach their own unique potential because when play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making and problem-solving skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. The more a child is engaged, the more a child learns. As well as supporting healthy brain development, play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength independently, which in turn, increases their confidence and self-esteem. Play also provides opportunities to learn about their own environment and the wider community and at a very early age, engage and interact with the world around them whilst establishing coping abilities, flexibility and positive interactions with others.
As a parent, play gives us the chance to see our child/ren's world from their perspective and allows us to build closer relationships. As an adult, it can be difficult at times to involve ourselves into a child's play but it is so vital for that child to have uninterrupted play time with you, where they take the lead. As long as you are giving them full attention for a period of play time, your child will teach you to play!
The two key types of play are structured play and free play. Free play should form more, around two thirds of all child's play, as it is from this that children develop interests and really immerse themselves in self-learning. One third should be structured play, where the activity has a set goal or learning outcome. Structured play should still be based around each child's own interests.
Above all, play should be fun! It is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood.
Please explore our website and discover our beautiful toys to encourage play in all forms, as well as our learning resources for those structured play times. Please take time to read the product descriptions as they highlight the key areas of learning that each toy provides, giving you the reassurance when investing in your child's world of play.