Child Development: Why play is so important for babies and children

Child growth
Why is playing so important?

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Everyone talks about child support. But more important than music lessons and drawing courses is something completely different: plenty of time to play. Whether it’s classic games like Uno and Quartet or with dolls and in the treehouse: playing trains for life, above all, brings a lot of fun, lightness and joy.

Play strengthens the family and communication

Children need closeness and are happy when their parents have time to play with them. “Family that plays together and stays together” is the motto in the United States. In plain English, this means: Play strengthens cohesion between families. There is also a lot of discussion and negotiation when playing: Do you really have to throw “Mensch-ärgere-dich-nicht”? Or you can finish the game when there are two characters in the house? Changing the rules is constructive and requires everyone to talk to each other and try to find a common solution. Enhances communication.

Play stimulates the senses and promotes logical thinking

Little boy playing with wooden train

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Carpenters in a small log cabin with their father, shaping and drawing a musli pot in a pottery course, searching and discovering with Experiment Kits: Children learn about the laws of nature and how things are connected in a playful way. Senses and logical thinking are stimulated.

Playing helps to see the world from a different perspective

little girl playing with doll

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Kids love pretend games. Toddlers play a family role and pretend to be a mother: the doll is bathed, crumpled and put to bed. Delicious food is prepared for the whole family in the doll’s kitchen. Then they might play “daddy” and try to disassemble the kitchen chairs with a screwdriver. The child will notice that being a father feels very different than being a mother. As children grow up, they begin to take on roles that no longer come from their immediate environment: they invade foreign galaxies in play, treat animals, and play in the school’s theater project group. Games are a lifelong rehearsal. Children can experiment with different roles, situations and expand their experiences without risk and without external expectations: sometimes they are on the side of the “good guys”, sometimes they are on the side of the “bad guys”, sometimes they are strong, the next time they are helpless. In roles, children get to know themselves better and learn to look at the world from a different perspective. Role-playing games also help children deal with difficulties, for example when there is a fight at school.

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Child development: why play is so important

Play enhances stamina and perseverance

Has your child lost at the game of Monopoly and the tears are already starting to flow, or have the game pieces been wiped off the table with a quick swipe? Don’t worry: every kid reacts like this once. When parents lead by example and appear to be good failures, children’s tolerance for frustration increases over time. Playing isn’t about teaching kids to lose unconditionally, it’s about not letting them frustrate you even in difficult situations. Endurance and perseverance are required.

Playing makes you confident and happy

A child sitting among his toys

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From an early age, children learn through play. At the age of a few months, the baby will begin to reach for the things that interest him. For example, he grabs the string and pulls it – then the sounds of music will sound. This is of course fun and the child will continue to pull the rope. Improves coordination and fine motor skills. He also notes: “Aha, I can do something.” This knowledge will make you confident and happy.

This, of course, is the case not only with young children, but also with older children: in test games, primary school children learn new facts in a playful way, with the help of sets of experiments, previously unknown connections are revealed. When board and saloon games are played with friends or family, there is usually a lot of laughter. Feeling that “we’re doing something together here and I’m contributing to it” is good for schoolchildren’s self-confidence.

So does playing always mean learning?

Please do not misunderstand “Learn”! It’s not about parents getting their kids ready for school with as many educational games as possible. Real play always comes from the child and brings one thing above all else: lots of fun. And along the way, children learn many useful things in life.

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