May 28 is World Play Day, and the week leading up to it is dedicated to teaching about the importance of play.
Why is play so important? While playing, children learn:
• About their body and its limitations
• Healthy interaction with others
• Language skills
• Strategies for overcoming difficulties
Play that involves bodily movement helps develop gross motor skills like jumping and running, as well as fine motor skills like those necessary to manipulate small objects.
Games help children develop strategies and understand the importance of following established rules.
Pretend play gives children the opportunity to develop language abilities and put themselves in someone else’s shoes (empathy).
Parents and other adults have the responsibility to make sure kids have time and opportunities to play. After all, by doing so, we’re preparing the next generation to become more capable, responsible, and caring adults!