The Power of Play
With increased pressure to perform, achieve and compete at earlier ages, many of our children are missing out on an ingredient critical to their cognitive and emotional development: play.
We know that all work and no play makes for rather dull boys and
girls. What we may not realize, however, is that what seems like
light-hearted horsing around is, in fact, essential for children to grow
up into well-adjusted, compassionate and capable adults.
Although given little attention earlier, understanding the importance of play now spans several scientific disciplines including psychology, biology, behavioural ecology and ethology. Through play, therapists get valuable clues about a child's emotional development and are better able to assist behavioural and emotional problems.
Through play, children bond emotionally with each other and their caregivers, developing a sense of trust, community and empathy. Regular play fosters intelligence, curiosity, a sense of discovery and adventure, problem-solving capabilities and other more complex adaptive activities. Play is also an important outlet for natural creativity - we've all been bowled over at some point by the unpredictable beauty of a child's imagination. Plus, sharing joy and laughter with others is fun!
Four-year-old Lily Nicol loves to play at Fun City. "My favourite Fun City is the one with the popcorn and the big slide (Oasis Centre, Dubai) - I love popcorn. My little sister likes the baby play area as it has lots of colours and lots of toys, the helpers are nice and she can get messy with the paints. I would like it if there were baby animals to play with; my favourite animals are baby tigers."
We'll let the baby tigers live in your imagination for now, Lily, while you discover the many avenues of playful exploration. We're glad our work is child's play!
How do you make sure your child gets enough playtime? Share your experience with us here...