Why a Navarre Child Care Facility Needs to Allow Children to Play

 Why a Navarre Child Care Facility Needs to Allow Children to Play

Many parents today want their children to walk into kindergarten knowing how to read and write. To ensure that happens, the parents place them in a child care center that makes early education a priority. However, children also need time to play. In fact, unstructured play time contributes significantly to a child’s development. Why is play so important today, and how can Navarre child care facilitate this play?

Overall Well-Being

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports play is important for a child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. As they play, children learn social skills. This play also allows them to express themselves and their feelings in an age-appropriate way. Children often don’t have the words to explain what they are feeling and can let these emotions out as they play.

Child Care

In addition, play can be used to teach children about different emotions and the proper way to express them. Pretend play is a great time for childcare workers to learn what is going on in a child’s life and help them navigate the situation. The childcare worker can then model different emotions and appropriate responses to those emotions. The child may not realize what the worker is doing but will remember how they modeled their response during play. The child can then do the same in other situations.

New Connections

As a child plays, they develop and strengthen neuronal connections. These connections weaken or disappear when they aren’t used regularly. When the child plays, they may try new things. For example, they try to put a square block in a round hole. When they cannot do so, they form a new neuronal connection. They learn square objects won’t fit in round holes. When they encounter another square object, they will remember this and strengthen the connection.

Social Skills

As children play together, they gain many valuable skills. For example, they must share toys with others. If an argument arises over who gets the toy, they learn how to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way. In addition, playtime is great for helping children discover how to make decisions. The childcare worker can show them how to weigh the pros and cons of different decisions by modeling behaviors for them.

Children learn these valuable skills without knowing they are doing so. The worker should allow the children to have input when weighing the pros and cons. This hands-on learning is a great way to allow children to be creative and express ideas on how to resolve conflict or encourage others to share, along with many other things.

Solitary Play

Some children prefer to play alone, and that is acceptable. Even when playing by themselves, children learn new things. They become more confident when they try something new and succeed, and they can assess a situation and make decisions. The workers are there to ensure they don’t hurt themselves and guide them as needed. However, this solitary play should be permitted, even when the other children are interacting with each other.

An excellent childcare facility will provide children with plenty of time to play. Although there may be some structured activities, free play should be a priority, particularly for very young children. It has been said that play is a child’s work. Allow children to play freely and watch them thrive as they do so.

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