Play is a vital part of early childhood development and is essential for learning and developing an array of skills. Through play, children develop language skills, learn how to interact with others, build social communication skills and establish friendships. Pretend play is important for developing a child’s problem-solving skills, imagination, and ability to think creatively.
When children play, they enhance their imagination through role play and storytelling which helps lay a solid foundation for literacy development. By playing around with the roles of others, children not only develop a sense of self, but can begin to share feelings and develop empathy. Play allows children to explore, become more independent and test their own limits.
The most important thing adults can do when playing with their children is to be present. Tune in to their interests, follow their lead and truly enter their world, even if it’s only for a few moments at a time.