The Magical World Of Play
THE MAGICAL WORLD OF PLAY
As you'll know I put a great emphasis on engaging my lil one in different kinds of Play that will stimulate his growth and development. I thought it would be a good idea to let my readers know the importance of Play from a professional perspective. My friend Tulsi who's a Child Psychologist, wrote an article about the different kinds of Play our children engage in along various stages of development, & the skills a child develops while playing. I thought this to be very informative.
🎈She will also be available to answer any questions that you have regarding Importance of Play in early childhood, Choosing age appropriate toys for your lil ones, and Handling Meltdowns. So head on to my insta stories and ask away! . Read up folks to know more about what she thinks of play in early childhood.
🎈What will you do if you see an empty swing, gently swaying in the breeze, big muddy puddles, a faded hopscotch? I would run to the swing, take off those wedges and jump in the muddy puddles, hop bare feet on the age-old faded squares shaking off the day’s endless stress and relive some precious childhood memories in a heartbeat!
🎈Play is more than just fun for children. It’s how they first learn to interact with this exciting world around them. Contrary to the belief that play is only for amusement, play is a serious business when it comes to a child’s health and development. Play enriches a child’s brain, body and social bonds in crucial ways.
🎈American Sociologist Mildred Parten Newhall divided play in to 6 types. This is important for parents to know so we can guide our children towards age appropriate behaviour and not take unnecessary stress when our child does not play cooperatively with his friends! Maybe its not time yet for that. Read on to find more about the development of play! Reiterating, play is undeniably a serious business! . .
⭐Unoccupied Play- this is what infants engage in. Your infant will move his or her body with no sense of direction or purpose, except to feel and explore the new surroundings. . ⭐Independent/ Solitary Play- You will see your toddler playing alone. Depending on the temperament, you may find your toddler actively running around or quietly exploring his
toy/ book in a corner. This needs to be encouraged! You cannot relate or bond with others
( external world) if you don’t learn to first be comfortable with your own self. This is his first step towards being self-sufficient.
⭐Onlooker Play- Your toddler will observe other children and adults and will not partake in the action. Although inactive per se, it is important. This is how the toddler will imitate you and pick up social nuances, learn how to move, do an activity, speak..the skills they can pick up while observing others is simply endless.
⭐Parallel Play- though two toddlers may be using the same toys, they play beside, rather than with each other. My daughter is at this stage with her best friend and the mothers find it amusing to see both the children having fun, playing side by side in their own world! Your toddler is one step closer to understanding how to connect with the outside world. They will imitate each other, learning a lot in the process. A word of caution- ensure that the toys you give them is shatterproof! This is the phase where there will be lots of breakdowns over ‘MINE’ Accept it and move on!
⭐Associative Play- Around 3.5 years or so, the toddler’s attention span starts to grow and he starts to enjoy playing with other children. Taking turns is the highlight of this phase. Friendships start forming here!
⭐Cooperative Play- here, your child plays with other children for a common purpose. Think completing a puzzle, a team sport, a play or completing a school project. A lot of interacting, socializing and communicating will be taking place in this phase, setting the stage for future interactions as your child matures into an adult.
We, psychologists cannot emphasise enough on the importance of play. Play leads to a wholistic development of a child and to understand this, let’s look at all the skills a child develops while playing! Hard to believe but it’s true.
⭐Physical Skills- Running, jumping, hopping, climbing on swings and slides provide an excellent chance for your child to develop balance, coordination, gross motor skills, fine motor skills. Repeating body movements will help the child in developing body control. ⭐Emotional Skills- It is paramount for a child to learn to express, name and accept his and other’s feelings to learn emotional regulation. This is done beautifully in form of pretend/ role play, which facilitates a safe expression of all sorts of feelings. Role play is a way of coping with emotional conflicts. When a child plays with his parents or other children, his self esteem gets a boost and he realize his importance in this big world.
⭐Cognitive Skills- Researches say that the maximum development of brain happens in the first five years of a child’s life. One of the vital way to stimulate brain development and reinforce valuable cognitive skills is through play. Cognitive skills which are developed and strengthened during play are understanding textures, size, shapes, colors, problem solving, decision making, understanding cause and effect relationship, vocabulary building and language development.
⭐Social Skills- Man is a social animal and cannot survive in isolation. Having said this, one needs social skills to be successful and happy in our social world. Play provides ample situations where children learn about different nuances of communication, turn taking, teamwork, maintaining and respecting boundaries and healthy competition. Children learn to handle other children with different temperaments and a variety of feelings associated with winning and losing. Your child learns to share, wait and be patient while playing! ⭐Moral Skills- Its during play that a child learns about acceptable behaviour and what is frowned upon. Your child learns that snatching a ball, hitting, being rude, bullying, cheating in a game, is not happily acceptable to peers. Being honest, taking turns, learning to share, using magic words (sorry, please, welcome), working in a group cooperatively and respecting others’ feelings are somethings which will be appreciated.
🎀Apart from all these skills, play acts as a buffer against stress and helps in building social-emotional resilience in your child. Childhood is indeed magical, and you can double up this magic by letting your child play! As a parent, provide them with a stimulating environment, age appropriate toys and activities and most importantly- your unconditional presence to make this phase of life special and memorable for yourself and your child!
🎀So guys, if have any questions, head on to my insta stories. I'm doing a Q&A along with Tulsi and she will be happy to clarify any questions.
- Written by Tulsi Chadha Sethi
🎀Tulsi is a child psychologist (aren’t all moms?) but this one has an M Phil degree and a happy daughter to prove it. She loves experimenting and has tried it across parenting a (now) 3 year old, dancing, culinary trials, mandala painting to trying new treatments on her poor husband. Her latest venture though is in blogging! Being with nature, cooking and humming is what keeps her sane!