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20 Life Skills your Child learns through Play.

1. Exploration.
Play is a safe space for children to explore their curiosities and impulses in a low risk environment.


2. Connection.
Play allows the opportunity for the child to be met right where they are emotionally, cognitively and physically which is a powerful force for connection and bonding.

3. Confidence-Building. The repetitive nature of play provides children the opportunity to master important skills/tasks. When children overcome challenges through play, they develop a sense of accomplishment.

4. Expressing emotions. Dramatic and creative play set the stage for children to work through unresolved emotions in a safe, non-threatening way.

5. Social skills.

Social play promotes many skills including but not limited to negotiation, compromise, taking turns and communication. Play also allows a child to explore different roles and take on perspectives of others beyond themselves, fostering empathy.

6. Problem solving.

All modalities of play offer the chance for children to confidently explore different processes and outcomes. When children engage in open-ended play it increases divergent problem-solving (a problem where more than one solution exists) ability.

7. Creative thinking.

Exploring ideas and materials through play gives a natural medium for your child’s creativity. Play ignites creativity when familiar materials are used in new ways, and children engage in dramatic or imaginative play.

8. Good Mental Health.

The more time children are engaged in play and interacting with the world around them, the more likely they are navigating their inner emotional life and learning life skills (and the less likely they are to be in front of a screen).

9. Language development.

Parent-child play models the basic concepts of communication and conversation.

10. Reading.

Wordplay and storytelling build the foundation for learning to read.

11. Self Control.

Board games serve as an opportunity to practice turn taking and staying on task with rules.

12. Memory.

When play involves movement it promotes learning and memory, as the body is a tool of learning. The more movement a child receives, the greater their attention span.

13. Motor development.

Drawing, painting, dancing, singing, climbing… all establish both fine and large motor skills.

14. Cognitive development.

Constructive and dramatic play give opportunities to work on many different cognitive skills such as perspective taking, abstract thought, and higher-level cognition.

15. Physical health.

When kids play, they learn reflexes, motor control, develop fine and gross motor skills and increase flexibility and balance.

16. Growth Mindset.

When play is undertaken without consideration of the outcome a child is allowed to focus on the process and the concept that they can always build on current skills.

17. Self-Understanding.

When children have the freedom to direct their own play, they are able to put their own thoughts, feelings, and imaginations out into the world, gaining a greater perspective on their own inner lives.

18. Spatial skills.

Building and construction play encourages a child to test spatial relationships and mentally rotate objects in the mind’s eye.

19. Attention.

When your child plays, the limited of the world that constrain possibilities are removed. Play simply allows your child’s innate creativity to flourish as they explore limitless possibilities.

20. Curiosity.

Curious children have been found to have better memories and better academic performance. Engaging in the exploration of natural surroundings including toys and games, makes the space for curiosity to flourish.

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