Understanding the Importance of Play

We take for granted the importance of play for our children’s growth and development.

Often times parents are so focused on early academics, scheduling play dates, setting up Pinterest worthy crafts, enrolling their kids in organized sports, and entertaining them with flashy “educational” toys.

It makes sense that many parents get sucked into this as this is what our society has come to place above free and unstructured play.

We need to understand the importance of play for our kids.

Play is HOW Kids Learn

It is how they develop the cognitive, social and emotional skills that allow them to succeed in all things.

In a recent clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) titled “The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children” the abstract states play is “a singular opportunity to promote the social-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills that build executive function and a prosocial brain.”

The importance of play cannot be overstated.

This is what the AAP is recommending pediatricians do:

- Advocate for the protection of unstructured play because of it’s proven benefits in the development of motor skills that have lifelong benefits (such as preventing obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes)

 Advocate for educators to focus on play by allowing children to take the lead and follow their own curiosity

Encourage educators to put a “premium” on building social-emotional and executive functioning skills

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