“Free” Play – Is it really beneficial?
The importance of play to a child’s development is known to all. The more you let your child play, the more they will explore & learn. Have you ever heard of the term “free play”? If you are not aware of the term, read the write-up and get to know about the concept in-depth.
These days, parents feel they have no choice but to pack their little one’s schedules with adult driven activities like organized sports. Do you consider it as the right way to progress? As per a recent study and research, free and unstructured play is important for a child’s physical, social and emotional development.
You must be thinking what free play is all about? Frankly speaking, the concept of free play is not new. Free play is unstructured, child-initiated activity that allows the little ones to develop their imagination power while exploring the world around them. This is spontaneous and comes from child’s natural curiosity, enthusiasm, and love of discovery.
Playing with dolls, crayons, and loose parts allow for unstructured creative play. Free play is dramatic, creative, fantasy and even symbolic. It can be anything!
Benefits of Free Play
Free play offers kids certain advantages that you must know. Parents usually plan everything for the little ones in order to help them and make them superior.
Undirected play helps in developing their decision-making skills and let them explore several things that they weren’t aware of.
Here we have summed up few points that would help you learn the benefits of free play;
- Undirected or unstructured play help the little ones learn how to work together, to share, to negotiate and to resolve conflicts.
- Builds creativity and ability to come up with new ideas, actions and activities
- Develops motor planning skills, helping the kids to carry out ideas, motor actions and activities.
- Free play helps the little ones avoid passive entertainment like playing with indoor play equipment’s and video games
- Free play offers parents a wonderful opportunity to play with their little ones. This will help you have a glimpse of the world in a different way. Besides, you will be able to communicate more effectively with your little one.
- Kids who are less verbal will be able to express their views, experiences, and frustrations through free play. You will get the opportunity to acquire deeper understanding of his/her perspective
- Unscheduled time allows for peer interactions, which serves as an important component of socio-emotional learning
- Creative play protects against the effects of stress and barrier
Since every child is different, the challenge for parents is to strike a balance that allows their little ones to reach their potential without forcing them beyond their comfort zone. Parents need to understand that a large proportion of play should be child-driven rather than adult-directed.
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