8 Reasons Play is Good for Your Child’s Health

8 Reasons Play is Good for Your Child’s Health

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When you bring your baby home from the hospital, they’re only concerned with sleeping and eating. As they get older, the world becomes more exciting and they start developing curiosity. It leads them to crawl, walk and run to do things like play with their toys or go outside.

Kids should get all the time they need to use their imagination and enjoy playtime. It’s how they tire themselves out before bedtime and learn about the world, but it’s also an essential part of developing and protecting their health.

Read on to learn eight reasons why play is good for your child’s health. An extra afternoon at the playground every week will help them get stronger as they get older, all while keeping them entertained and happy.

1. Play Encourages Communication

When your child sits down to play in their room, they’re likely on their own with their toys. It’s good for kids to have a healthy sense of independence, but it’s also vital for them to learn how to communicate with their peers.

Most of the time when you go to the playground, you’ll find other families there as well. Your child will learn to ask if they can go down the slide next or play with another kid. It’s an opportunity for them to use their manners and make friends, which are primary forms of communication they’ll need later in life.

2. Movement Decreases Obesity Risks

Unless your child needs to sit on a bench and catch their breath or eat a picnic lunch, they spend their time running around on the playground. It’s more movement than they’d experience indoors at home, so it decreases their risk of obesity by keeping them moving and making exercise fun. Visit the playground more often to encourage more movement and recreational fun.

3. Play Engages Their Creativity

Kids have toys at home that they’ve played with many times before. The equipment on the playground is new or at least unavailable at home. They get to use their creativity in new ways every time they use the monkey bars or climb the jungle gym. It helps their imagination grow, especially if they play with other kids at the park. Imagination and creativity are ways they can express themselves, which they’ll need as they grow up and look for ways to vent their stress or anxiety.

4. Kids Learn Self-Confidence

Some kids struggle with self-confidence because they enjoy following the directions of their parents, teacher or friends. Sometimes they need a bit of space to develop confidence for a happy, healthy life. At the playground, they’ll make decisions for themselves about how they’ll take risks and have fun.

When kids don’t have the chance to develop self-confidence, they’re more likely to grow up with self-harming behaviors, no self-care and more anxiety.

5. Playgrounds Present Delayed Gratification

Most of the time, kids can entertain themselves and have fun, but it often comes with the need for immediate gratification. When they don’t immediately get the crayon color or toy they want, they might have a meltdown or get angry and leave the room.

When there are other families on the playground, kids have to learn about delayed gratification. This is a major skill for every child to learn so their mindset develops into one that’s ready for social situations like the classroom or workplace.

While at the playground, kids have to wait in line for the slide or the swings. It’s a subconscious way to teach them how to wait while helping them have more fun during your free afternoons.

6. Play Promotes Optimism

The freedom to explore a playground and do whatever they want makes kids feel happier, which promotes optimism. Optimism is a benefit of what’s known as play therapy, which reduces symptoms of childhood stress and helps kids feel better mentally and physically. It’s an integral part of growing up, so let your child explore their local playground to help them become a more positive and optimistic person.

7. Kids Enjoy Sensory Play

Brain development in early childhood years sets every kid up for the success they’ll experience later in life. One way to promote this mental development is to let your kids enjoy sensory play. At the playground, they can build new nerve connections by using fine motor skills to play with sand or climb up equipment. Sensory play also covers areas like language development and problem-solving, so it’s the best way for kids to experience multiple health benefits at one time.

8. Playgrounds Encourage Autonomous Thinking

Young kids get used to being told what to do. Their parents instruct them when to eat and when to sleep, while their teachers tell them what to learn. During playground time, they have to make their own decisions, which results in the growth of autonomous thinking. As kids get used to deciding what they’ll do and how they’ll do it, they’ll experience more independence and self-confidence. It’s a mental health aspect that’s crucial for a successful life.

Schedule Playground Time

When life gets busy, it’s hard to remember to go to the park when you finally have a few free hours. Schedule your child’s playground time so their health and wellness comes before a busy routine. They’ll make new friends, become more independent and benefit from play therapy as they get more time to use their imagination at your local playground.