1000 good reasons to play
1000 good reasons to play
Your child does not wonder why he’s playing. He likes that, that’s all. If the game is so natural in the child, it is because he needs it to grow well and discover the world around him.
“Play is necessary for the overall development of children,” says Roland Filion, an educational psychologist, and game specialist. At birth, your child has billions of neurons. But to work, these neurons must connect. These connections are made through the experiences and stimulations that your toddler experiences. When your child plays, the neurons in his brain work hard to connect and record knowledge. As Francine Ferland, occupational therapist and author of books on the game says, playing is an excellent vitamin for development! The play has positive effects on all dimensions of child development. For example :
- Motor and sensory development. The game stimulates the senses. When he manipulates and looks at objects, and even when he puts them in his mouth, your child discovers colors, textures, shapes, sounds, tastes. He finds, for example, that objects can be smooth, rough, soft, square, round, large or small. When drawing or cutting, he develops his excellent motor skills. And when he plays catching a ball or doing a puzzle, he improves his eye-hand coordination. Running, jumping, and tumbling also strengthens muscles, physical stamina, and balance.
- Cognitive development. Thinking, memory, creativity, problem-solving skills are other skills that your toddler develops through play. When he plays with figurines of various sizes, he gradually learns concepts such as “smaller than “or” more significant than.” When he plays puppets with a friend, he develops his imagination. And when you have fun with him hiding his rattle under a towel, and you make it reappear, he learns that the objects continue to exist even if he does not see them anymore.
- Social development. Playing also allows your child to learn to live with others. At the park, for example, your child is eager to slip, but there are three friends in front of him. Casually, he practices waiting for his turn. Does a friend come to play at home? He learns to share his toys. By playing with others, your child develops all kinds of social skills essential for living in society: helping, asking questions, recognizing and naming emotions, making compromises, settling conflicts, and so on. “Thanks to play, your child can also express certain negative emotions, such as anger or sadness, by making them live with imaginary characters,” says Josiane Caron Santha, occupational therapist.
- The development of language. When the child plays learns new words. He also learns to listen to others, to express his ideas, and to make himself understood.
Fun before anything else
Even if your child learns a lot through play, the pleasure must generally be at the rendezvous. His goal when he plays is not to learn, but to have fun. “The word” play “is a bit like” joy, “says Josiane Caron Santha. For a game to remain a game, the child must want to do it. Moreover, there must be no clearly defined objectives. Otherwise, it’s no longer a game; it becomes an exercise. “
“Do not play games as an educational activity. The important thing is to share a good time with your child. “
What about educational toys that say improving vocabulary or logic, for example? For Roland Filion, this is a marketing strategy to encourage you to buy these toys when they are not necessarily better than others. “In reality, almost all toys can be educational because the child almost always learns,” she says. His advice: offer different types of toys by promoting those where the child is active mentally or physically. That is to say, toys with which he can imagine, sort, assemble, catch, pedal, etc. This removes many battery-powered toys where the participation of the child is limited to the weight of a button!
Free game: why?
For fun, a child does not need a ton of toys, especially that he can have fun without toys, as evidenced by Alexandre Provost, dad Jessy, 17 months. “My son loves to play hide-and-seek with me; he likes to have fun climbing up and down steps and, in the bath, he plays to fill and empty containers. Last summer, he spent a lot of time washing rocks and putting them in a bucket. These days, Jessy is not tired of tucking pom-poms into the lid of an empty yogurt pot pierced with two holes. An idea of his mom. Like what, it is not necessary to spend a fortune to promote the game!
MOVE, IT’S FUN!
One of the favorite games of Loïc, two years, is to run outside after his mom or dad. “We ask him to exaggerate his movements, like raising his legs very high, and he finds it very funny,” says his mother, Valerie Lamarche. Good idea, because games where children are physically active promote their motor development and are excellent for their health. “A good way to get the children moving is to take them outside,” says Geneviève Gagné, a counselor at Québec en Forme. Children are very active when they are outside doors because they can explore their environment. Just being outdoors favored energy-intensive activities such as jumping, running, climbing, and tumbling. “
Unfortunately, parents are increasingly letting their children play outside freely and independently because they are afraid they will hurt themselves, says Participation, which has conducted studies on the subject. However, there is more risk to their health to keep them inactive indoors. The organization, therefore, recommends letting children play outside more freely and even allowing them to climb, tumble, bicker, or balance on a tree trunk. They gain confidence and autonomy. Children also learn to measure risk better. Yes, it is possible that they will make a little bobo, but in general, it will not be severe!