10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play

By Kris McPhail, Curriculum Specialist for Ebenezer’s Downtown Milwaukee Center

I am passionate about children and play. Wanting to share this passion, I found some helpful information in an article written by Laurel Bongiorno, PhD, the Director of Champlain College’s graduate program in Early Childhood Education, and printed on the NAEYC For Families website. Here is her list of 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play.

  1. 1. Children learn through play.
    Some of the things they learn are social skills, cognitive skills, literacy skills, physical abilities and new vocabulary.

2. Play is healthy.
Play helps children be strong and healthy. Active play counteracts the obesity epidemic that is currently facing many children today.

3. Play reduces stress.
It helps children grow emotionally, and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.

4. Play is more than meets the eye.
Play can be simple or complex. There are many types of play. Play offers researchers many   opportunities to research and study.

5. Make time for play.
Daily time for play helps promote cognitive,  language, physical, social and emotional       development.

6. Play and learning go hand and hand.
They go together, they are intertwined. You can’t have one without the other.

7. Play outside.
Children are losing contact with the natural world. Go outside.

8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
There are many books and articles written about play.

9. Trust your own playful instincts.
Remember when you were a child and play came naturally. Let your child have that experience.

10. Play is a child’s context for learning.
A child’s learning is practiced and reinforced through play. It provides rich learning opportunities, and leads to children’s success and self-esteem.