Play is a fundamental part of childhood; it brings immense joy & happiness. However, thanks to the ruthless competition and undue influence of gadgets, children have forgotten to spend time outdoors, making them prone to lifestyle disorders. We have to take measures to provide them with ample opportunity to explore the world outdoors to bring back a happy, healthy childhood.
Play is not just enjoyment but opens up wide avenues of learning and skill development. Children who play outdoors generate a wealth of information from the environment, the trees, birds, flowers, from different objects & people. This exploration gives them food for thought and paves the way for novel discoveries; a chance to reason the variability in the world.
Play involves activities that are fun, voluntary and flexible, repetitive, but not stereotyped. The spontaneous nature of the game and the relaxed field promote the development of brains networks which help in skill building.
Play is also a fantastic tool to develop attention because children are actively engaged in play. Certain activities like puzzle play promote sustained attention, be it for completing sequential tasks or even paying attention in the classroom during lessons. Pretend play brings out the ability to understand the other person’s perspective making children more kind and considerate.
Children assemble blocks to build structures and set their own rules for play. This assembling of blocks is a process of imbibing planning skills, a chance to imagine and bring out the creativity in them. Games allow making assumptions and building a sense of reasoning.
Evidence suggests that children who engage in free play have better self-control and efficiency. During free play, children switch between various tasks at a given point of time without a drop in energy levels, indirectly learning to multi-task. The frequent engagement in multiple activities makes them better day by day.
Finally, as rightly said by Clinical Psychologist Jamison, Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.