March 30, 2017 Carol Miller

11 Reasons Why Kids Need to Play

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11 Reasons Why Kids Need to Play

In these days of highly scheduled and regimented day, along with the many demands and responsibilities of everyday life, it is increasingly important for children to be allowed just to play. So put down the tablet, turn off the cell phone and get out and play!

  1. Play helps children develop social skills, through play kids learn to get along with others, take turns, share, develop empathy skills and much more.
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  1. Play helps children with healthy emotional development because it allows them to express their conscious and unconscious feelings about their life and things that are going on around them. 
  1. Play stimulates healthy brain development strengthening neuronal connections that would otherwise disappear or weaken if not used.
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  1. Public schools throughout the United States continue to reduce the amount of time allotted to play and physical education. Since the signing of the legislation in 2001 that enacted No Child Left Behind and now Common Core, many schools have locked their focus on reading and math and continue to decrease the amount of time allocated to recess, physical education and other creative arts such as music and art.
  2. Play helps kids adjust to school and improves their ability to learn. When children are allowed to play, they become more focused, have greater attention spans, and enhance their academic skills.
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  3. Overscheduled family lifestyle’s leaves minimal time for quality parent-child interaction and play. As a whole, many families would benefit from less structured routines and time for unstructured activities and play. Family life and child behavior problems can improve with increased playtime.
  1. Kids learn how to share, resolve conflicts, make decisions, be assertive, display empathy and work in groups through play. Even playing alone can help a child develop self-confidence, assertiveness, decision-making skills, and more. 
  1. Play allows children to express themselves, learn about their feelings. Kids become more aware of their own and others’ feelings and how to manage feelings by showing them and working through emotions in play. 
  1. Children can make sense of their life experiences through unstructured play where they reenact events to better understand the experience
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  1. Parents can help children who are going through an extensive range of difficulties by utilizing playtime with them. By role-playing and acting through different difficulties such as emotional problems, social difficulties, hyperactivity can be addressed in a fun, educational manner.
  1. Parents can enhance the parent-child bond by simply being with their child and truly focusing on their child without any distractions, the relationship with their child can significantly improve.