Free play for kids is child-driven, volunteered and unstructured kind of playing. The situation is simply “let them be” type. Whatever the kids do, they plan, design and execute it as they want. Childhood is full of curiosity, energy and enthusiasm. Giving the child opportunity for free play as parents, elder siblings or caregivers means that you are giving them opportunity to learn.
Childhood is the blessing with no substitute. The carefree and full of life phase remains a part of us as vivid memory for the rest of life. It is vital phase of life in every aspect. Children are naturally curious and enthusiastic. This is the reason they want to explore every single thing they encounter. The very process of playing is in fact a way of learning. What kids do, they do it spontaneously and learn during these activities. There a lot many benefits of free play for children. Moreover, these facts are supported by scientific studies as well.
Health benefits of free play for kids
Have a look at some benefits of allowing kids some opportunity for free play.
1. Kids learn to express
Free play helps kids to express their view, experience even frustration through play. If parents of caregivers play or get engage in child-driven activities, they’ll be able to create even stronger bonds with kids.
2. Better physical growth
Given the opportunity of free play, the kids do better in terms of physical growth and development because of their active indulgence in physical activity. Such kids tend to have better sleep quality than other with sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, kids tend to be obese if they are having a sluggish lifestyle such as spending more time on digital games on tablets and mobiles.
3. Enhancing their creativity
Kids are creative and imaginative. During games, they learn to enhance and express their creativity and imagination. For instance, kids especially girl, ‘pretend play. This is type of play in which they intentionally act as someone else in another time and place. All this imagination enhances their creativity.
4. Developing cognitive skills
Kids when play in groups or we can say when play with other kids with which ‘they’ want to play, they develop strong cognitive skills. These include reasoning a situation, creativity, imagination and speech. The effects are more prominent in toddlers of age group 3-5 years.
5. Training them for real challenges
Unstructured or self-driven play provides kids a chance to fashion and master their own world. They learn competence, negotiation, sharing and solving conflicts with other kids. All this improves kid’s self advocacy and self confidence. So sometimes it’s better to let them be.
Moreover, kids tend to take challenges or be a part of tricky activities. For instance, claiming some height or jumping etc. this is kind of training for their real life challenges. They learn to take challenges and overcome their fear for many things.
6. Social sharing and empathy
Kids learn a lot in terms of creating social connection with other kids as well as develop emotions such as empathy. This is not only for their childhood but also for later life.
7. Preventing obesity
Early childhood or teenage obesity is a rising issue. Kids now a days are more inclined towards ‘screens’ for mobiles and tablets. This sluggish lifestyle is one major reason for teenage obesity.
Therefore, its better to involve them in useful physical playing activates. This increases their metabolism which is good for preventing obesity and improving physical health at same time.
8. Self regulation
Free playing develops a sense of team work, sharing and self-regulation in kids. they learn to control their emotional outburst. Moreover, they develop positive emotions such as reasoning, sharing, accepting failure etc, through these free play activities.
Childhood is best part of life. Being a parent, elder sibling or caregiver gives you the opportunity to enhance and improve the potential of kids. one of the best strategy is to let them learn in their own way-by indulging in cheerful free play activities.