The Power of Play in Children’s Health

Throwing Leaves

 

From the time they are born, children are learning about their new surroundings in a variety of ways. They see, touch, smell, and taste the world around them. As they grow older and are able to interact with their surroundings, it is important to promote play time for a little one. Active play is known to foster sound emotional and mental health, according to bostonchildrenmuseum.org, and a minimum of 60 minutes of daily active play is what is recommended for children.

Downfalls to not engaging in active play include increased risks of anxiety, obesity, emotional trauma, and violence. Children who rely on television, gaming systems, or computers rather than active play for their fun times are more inclined to exhibit the above negative behaviors. However, many believe, according to the website, that play is the antidote to isolation, worry, loneliness, fear, and violence.

Play is thought to strengthen confidence and the ability to trust in others through the creation of friendships. Many childhood confidence issues stem from the lack of friendships, and active play encourages friendships and relationships with others. Learning to interact with peers during play time also carries into adulthood and the ability to communicate. The encouragement of active play in adolescence leads to proper social interaction throughout the many stages of life.

Consistently participating in active play also decreases the risk of violent behavior in a similar way as it increases confidence. Communicating effectively with others is hard at every age, but engaging in play helps with social development and the ability to communicate. For some children, not knowing how to interact with others is extremely frustrating, and this frustration is what leads to violent behavior. Learning how to play is a child’s way of learning how to interact with their peers, and this knowledge leads to easier communication and less frustration that could lead to violent behaviors.

Sedentary behaviors like watching t.v. all the time and playing video games lead to a sedentary lifestyle. This is not to say that t.v. and video games should be avoided altogether, but they should be participated in with moderation. Active play should be promoted and participated in for at least 60 minutes per day to evoke social, emotional, and cognitive development in children.