Larne Community Care Centre

The Importance of Play

The importance of play

We at Larne Community Care Centre are advocates of play and realise how important play is for children’s learning, development, and wellbeing which is why play is at the heart of what we do in our childcare department. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that ‘every child has the right to play’ and the importance of ensuring children have opportunities and spaces to play, where they feel safe and can enjoy themselves without adult direction, is now widely accepted and encouraged throughout the childcare sector.

Play integrates children’s experiences, knowledge, and representations to help them create meaning and sense and to understand the world. Pretending requires children to think of things that are not actually present, a skill required in many learning and life situations.

The benefits of play are innumerable- play helps children develop cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.

Play promotes healthy development and critical thinking skills. It reinforces memory, helps children understand cause and effect. Play inspires children to pretend, create, and imagine. Creative, open-ended play helps children conceptualize, brainstorm, and exercise critical thinking skills.

Play is also important for social development because it helps children learn how to interact with others. Through play, children develop an understanding of social expectations and rules, and play provides opportunities to share thoughts and ideas, to listen, and to compromise. Play also helps children understand and process their emotions.

Physically, play benefits children in a few ways, namely in the development of their fine and gross motor skills. It also teaches children about movements, flexibility, stamina, balancing and body awareness.

National Play Day will be celebrated on Wednesday 3rd August and the theme for this year’s Playday is … All to play for – building play opportunities for all children. This year’s theme aims to highlight that play is for everyone.

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