Parents often worry about their children’s education. While playtime is often seen by parents as a reward for schoolwork and bringing home straight A’s, it can also be an important learning tool. Games, exploration and even a little rough-housing can all help increase focus and improve grades. Plus, it gives your family an important bonding time.
Here’s how playtime can actually make our families smarter AND healthier!
Play helps kids spend their natural energy
Improves Sleeping & Eating Habits
- Physical activity at any age encourages better sleeping & eating habits. It helps us feel sleepy when we need to go to bed in order to get 8 hours of rest, and we are better able to regulate when we are hungry when we are burning calories. How do those factors make us smarter? Well, doctors say that when we are well-rested and eat the right foods, we learn better.
Helps with Focus
- Teachers know that recess is an important time for kids – not just to give them a break from schoolwork, but to help them prepare for the rest of the learning day. This can be applied to the weekend and family vacations, too. If you want to take your kids to a museum or watch a documentary with you, go on a family walk first to help them focus later.
Kids learn important relationship skills through play
- Playtime with their parents and other children teaches your kids teamwork and important social skills that will help them in every aspect of their life as they grow up. Whether they are building a pillow fort or playing a game of tag, kids learn how to listen and communicate their needs. A study even found that the social skills of 3rd graders could predict their academic success in the 8th grade!
Imagination & Emotional Balance
- Imaginative play helps kids work through emotions like fear, anger, and frustration in a situation they feel they can control. This helps them discover how their emotions work by acting out scenes in a safe environment. It can also boost their confidence when they come to a “resolution” of their imaginary dilemmas, like defeating the big scary dragon!
Playtime helps your kids learn about the world
Curiosity about how things work
- Puzzles and brain teasers seem like an obvious way to improve our IQ, but for kids, everyday objects can also teach them about the world. This is because the mechanics of our everyday lives are still new to them. With each new object they encounter, they learn a little more about subjects they’ll be tested on later in life!
Develops motor skills
- Just like expanding their knowledge of how the world works, playtime helps kids learn how to interact with the world around them, too. With each toy and puzzle, they develop they’re fine motor skills every time they play.