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How play is important for children

January 2, 2017

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Play is fundamental for the well-being and development of every child. When children play, they develop their skills on several levels. They reflect, solve problems, express themselves, move, cooperate, appeal to their impressions and exercise their moral conscience.

In the early years of their lives, children explore or play by doing the same things over and over again. Babies, for example, will grab blocks, manipulate them and carry them to their mouths. Toddlers will build towers with their blocks just to make them fall. This repeated training allows them to learn and develop their self-confidence. Children learn what objects are and what they can do with them. They begin to understand their universe.

For toddlers, play and gaming is a natural way to learn. It is closer to the way we learn in everyday life. Instead of integrating a concept at a time, as is done in class, children need to learn and use multiple ideas and objects at the same time. Play makes children happy, which makes learning easier and even more effective.

From the beginning

When a baby grows up and starts walking, running and climbing, his/her way of playing changes step by step. As the physical abilities improve, the 12-to-24-month-old acquires lots of new skills: talking, playing games, interacting and making friends. In this process play is an integral part. Toddlers like to touch and explore. Parents can stimulate their creativity by providing opportunities for children to learn about their environment both indoor and outdoor by experiencing, touching and discovering new things say for example play equipments and soft toys.

Toddlers move constantly and moving allows them to exercise their new skills. Play equipments and toys play a vital role in this process. Each day parents should devote plenty of play time with their children to both indoor and outdoor activities using toys and play equipments so that the child can develop these skills and be active.

Toddlers love to climb, walk, run, make friends and create lots of noise and have fun. To promote these physical and motor skills safely, take them to the parks or playground either indoor or outdoor in the neighborhood. Modular play should be tailored to the age of the child and well maintained. There must be a lot of sand or some other type of soil safe to cushion falls for an outdoor park and if it’s in the indoor play grounds it must be a soft play with all sorts of soft toys and soft cushioned flooring. Parents should always supervise playground activities and stay close to the child when using the playground and play equipments.

Play in nature

In general the benefits of outdoor play can be concluded as physical and mental. We know that the strength and endurance of physical benefits is based on coordination of various body parts. Physical activities like climbing, sliding, rocking, swinging, jumping, running are very much essential. In many ways it favors their development. Besides all health benefits, play outside in nature will keep the children in tune with the nature. It’s been proven that children who play outdoors and are in tune with natural environment improves recall of information, become creative, shows problem solving capability and more over humanitarian which obviously lacks in the present world.  Outdoor play equipments play a vital role in this discourse.

Different outdoor play equipments are meant for the development of various skills… Let’s look into that:

  • Balancing: Balancing bars, suspension bridge, climbers and net mesh.
  • Bouncing: Bungee trampoline
  • Creeping/ Crawling/ Knee walking:: Tunnels, slide, tubes
  • Hand over Hand: Ropes course, climbing series
  • Hanging by arms: Monkey bars, slip lines
  • Locomotion & Coordination: Swings, seesaw

 

 

Indoor soft play for toddlers

Often, the best place for toddlers to have fun is indoor playgrounds or indoor soft play. There will always be a separate toddler area for small children within the soft play packed with all sorts of:

  • Soft toys
  • Soft shapes
  • Whimsical sandpit area which is actually filled with treated cassia seeds
  • Soft climbers
  • Steps
  • Soft piles
  • Kiddy rides
  • Pony rockers
  • Electrical merry-go rounds
  • Crawling tunnels / Caterpillar tunnels

Toddler play areas are separated from structured area using soft walls of considerable height so as to avoid the risk of collision with the elder children while running and playing.  Soft flooring is usually given for toddler area to eliminate the risk factor. Kids will have more fun because there will be many other kids of the same age group and eventually this will lead to the social skill of the kids from a very early age in a safe and secure environment.

Structured soft play

The structured soft play area provides a wonderful answer to the almost insoluble equation of children and a day of bad weather by allowing them to let off steam without having to go outside.  With slides, tubes, tunnels, trampolines, balancing bridges, monkey bars, stairs, obstacles, labyrinth, zip lines, climbing walls, fireman’s climb and lot many activities structured indoor soft play is a kind of castle full of colors and incredible games for children from 3 to 15 years of age.

Indoor soft play especially the structured soft play area offers a great environment for kids and children to develop their motor skills in an exciting and environment, allowing them to interact with other children with lots of adventure and fun. Research shows that play areas which offer adventurous and lively play is a good way to encourage children to enjoy physical exercise. Often exciting and adventurous play equipment are used by indoor soft play centers and indoor play areas to encourages kids to be creative, use their imagination and get involved in exploratory play activities. By using these exploratory play activities it is always made sure that kids can run, jump, bounce and catch balls, all within in a safe and happy environment and will help them to develop agility, balance and improve their co-ordination.

Benefits of Soft Play

Apart from adventurous and exploratory play series indoor soft play also promotes role play activities, activity areas (that encompass painting, coloring, sculpturing, clay modeling, wall games etc), arcade games and Do It Yourself (DIY) activities that develop their creativity and social skills. The soft play activities and equipments in play centers are covered with soft format in order to ensure a safe play environment. Rigid structures usually are covered with foam padding with similar soft matting or EVA matting on the floor.

Various exploratory activities arranged in different levels indoor soft play provide a large play space for kids to run around. The activities includes sliding series, climbing series, adventurous series, ropes course, ball pools, trampoline, inflatables etc, activities may vary according to the available height of the indoor play area. By and large soft play area provides the children a chance to dive in and explore with friends or interact with other children who are there playing.

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