"The new school year is an exciting time as parents, teachers and
administrators try to ensure children succeed in the classroom. But it’s
also a good time to remember one of the essential ingredients in a
child’s success – play." continues
Play is critical to the physical, cognitive and emotional health of children. The American Academy of Pediatrics says play is so central that it should be part of the very definition of childhood, while the United Nations declares that children have the right to play.
Many forms of play, such as swinging on a swing or climbing a tree, help to build bones and muscles, improve coordination and boost confidence. Playing with simple toys, such as building blocks, helps children develop their intelligence, language skills and imagination. When playing make-believe, children use social and communication abilities such as negotiation, cooperation and sharing – all lifelong skills.
Creative play with words, music and reading is critical to brain development. We know 90 percent of a child’s brain development occurs by age 5. Daily exposure to reading, writing, talking, singing and playing helps children develop listening, problem-solving and creative-thinking skills. Reading stories together, especially over and over again, builds vocabulary and helps children learn abstract concepts.
Listening to music, singing along and playing musical instruments can help children develop and recognize patterns, which will assist with language and math skills. Play brings families together and inspires lifelong learning by encouraging children to be active learners through hands-on experiences.
And, let’s not forget: Play is fun.
Source: Sacramento Bee