- On March 10, 2020
For centuries, play has been the global pastime of children, offering young minds invaluable opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. However, as our society shifts towards an increase in structured activities, excessive screen time, and longer school days, many children are missing out on playtime. The often-increasing demands placed on children academically, has left many parents wondering: is play important for child development?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes – children benefit from play in a huge variety of ways, helping them build skills that will serve them throughout their school years and well into adulthood. In fact, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights stated that play is a fundamental right for every child. Learning about the many ways that play benefits your child’s development makes it clear that playtime is easily one of the most important parts of their day.
Benefits of Play
While there is value in certain structured activities, play can benefit children in an array of unique (and critical) ways. Here are just a few of the proven benefits of free play:
Overarching Development and Skill Strengthening
Open-ended play (play that enables children to freely explore according to their interests) allows children to refine skills in all areas of development, including physical, cognitive, communication, and social/emotional. Play helps them practice and strengthen these skills in ways that aren’t possible through screen time or worksheets.
The physical activity involved in play is beneficial to a child’s health, providing exercise, and helping combat issues like obesity. Healthcare providers typically recommend that children engage in at least one hour of active play each day to maintain good health and establish positive lifelong habits.
Because children are able to make their own choices during open-ended play, they begin to learn the concept of actions and consequences. These connections are part of a critical life skill that they will need into adulthood.
Communication and Social Skills
Many of us wonder at the way young children can make friends in an instant, using play as an easy way to connect with others. Through play, children learn to communicate more effectively with each other, resolving conflicts and reaching compromises.
Exploring New Ideas and Solving Problems
Free play opens up a world of possibilities for young children, allowing them to test new ideas in a safe environment. They can actively investigate, experiment, and learn from seemingly simple scenarios, learning to solve problems independently. Additionally, because this type of play is spontaneous, it requires children to be flexible in their thinking and open to adjusting their approach.
Support Your Child’s Love for Play at Zero Gravity Trampoline Park
Get back to basics with creative, open-ended play at Zero Gravity, the number one trampoline park in Minneapolis. Here, your child can take full advantage of a wide variety of play opportunities and enjoy staying active and challenging their imagination with our unique attractions. They’ll leap to new heights on our trampoline courts, test their strength and dexterity on our ninja obstacle course, and learn the value of teamwork in our laser tag arena – and all the while, you can feel good about bringing your child somewhere where they can reap the full benefits of playing freely.
From our Tot Court to our teen-friendly dodgeball trampoline courts, Zero Gravity has something for kids of all ages. Plus, our hours and affordable prices make it easy to bring your family for playtime fun after-school, on the weekends, and special celebrations anytime.
Make playtime a priority and plan your next visit to Zero Gravity Trampoline Park today!
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anatoliy Karlyuk