School Blog

The Importance of Play in Early Years

The Importance of Play in Early Years

By Sylvia

February 16th, 2022

It is crucial to make sure a child can sustain play.  When a child plays he or she is building social language, imagination and creativity.  Sustained play will teach a child how to focus on one topic at a time and help develop natural conversation skills.  More importantly, playing teaches a child new concepts, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills.  Using simple blocks as an example, a child may learn about construction, spatial awareness, balance, colors, sizes, shapes, etc.  If a child has delayed language, an adult could model a lot of functional language by simply talking about what kind of building he or she wants to build, suggest who might live in the building, or compare her building to something else.

You may have a child who is easily distracted, hyperactive or sensory seeking.  He or she may not know how to play with a specific toy and become easily frustrated.  One of the best things you can do with your child is to simply sit down together and teach your child as you play together.  The trick is to make sure it does not feel like work for your child, you must keep it as fun and relaxed as possible.  Teach her how to feed a doll and talk about what kinds of food the doll likes, how to dress the doll, wrap her in a blanket and put her to bed.  Teach him how to link a train together, or build a track.  Talk about the conductor, parts of the train and where the train might be going.

Many parents assume their child doesn’t know how to play with a toy or isn’t interested in a toy.  The reason may be that the child just needs a good model or teacher to learn how to play with that toy in a more interactive way.  Sure, a child can play on their own but when an adult or teacher comes in and interacts with them, their development has the potential to absolutely skyrocket.  The more time that is spent modeling and talking about toys, the more your child’s language and play skills have the potential to blossom.