As I write this, I am listening to my grandson play with his close friend from preschool. They are pretending to be monsters and making high-pitched squealing noises. I smile to myself as their imaginations channel them to another world. It makes me yearn to jump out of my chair and join in!
We cannot say this enough. Play time is essential to child development! Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Communication, social cues and self expression are just a few of the benefits children learn from play.
In part two of our Power of Play series, we learn how we can take advantage of playtime opportunities – even as adults!
Play is an incredibly powerful form of therapy that we use frequently here at The Wise Family. There are vast benefits of play for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and specifically for those who are working through past traumas.
Whether in the therapy office, on the playground, or inside the home, let’s continue to foster opportunities to play for everyone in our lives! The world may be a better place because of it.
Sharing about the Power of Play is not new for The Wise Family. Last June we wrote about the many benefits of play for children and adults. We revisit the topic this month because play is truly important enough to warrant continued conversation. I am, and always have been, a champion of the need for children to play. Working in the school system, I shudder when recess is shortened or I hear conversation around the need for more focus on academics.
It is hard for me to understand how people still don’t get that play IS academic in nature. Play is all things! It supports all areas of a child’s development building physical skills, cognitive skills, social skills, and emotional regulation skills. Through different types of play we enhance creativity and imagination, practice problem solving and cooperation, take risks and build confidence, learn from mistakes, practice controlling our emotions, and so much more. Often, when we think of play, our minds think about babies through elementary age children. Yes, play is absolutely important to children for all of the reasons listed above. However, don’t overlook the importance of play for adolescents and adults.
Play can decrease stress, fatigue, and depression. At all ages, play enhances our lives and can bring joy and laughter. So, as we like to say at The Wise Family, I encourage you to Play Everyday!
Now, go out and PLAY! Until next time, Be Wise1
“Dr. Amy brings together the best emotion-focused strategies with cutting-edge brain science to change the lives of children and families”— Parent of adopted twin girls
“Dr. Amy talks about moving children from being externally-driven to internally-driven…and she helps you get there!”— Parent of 15-year-old daughter
“Dr. Amy knows how to relate to children and make them feel comfortable. My son was shy in the beginning but Amy asked him a couple of questions about what he likes and immediately found a connection with him. He happily followed her into the office (just after a 3 min of conversation) and performed the test. He wasn’t nervous or scared and it’s because of her ability to relate to kids.
We had a great experience and he wants to go back! Thank you very much!”— Dad of 5-year-old assessment client