Help your child develop some of life’s critical thinking, social and creativity skills with a trip to Chantilly indoor playground, Kid Junction. With a wealth of attractions, interactive zones and more, Kid Junction provides children with the opportunity to play and learn in a kid-friendly environment. Entertaining children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to elementary students, there is always something to do at Kid Junction. Plan your trip to our indoor playground today, and let us leave you and your children with an experience you will not soon forget.
Perhaps you've heard of the benefits of child's play. There is a lot of research out there that backs up this claim, saying play time has a positive impact on the development of a young child's mind. Taking time out to play is not just a distraction in the life of a small child, a time to relax and just have fun, a chance for Mom to sit down with a cup of coffee while Junior plays, an opportunity for bonding over family game night on Fridays.
Yes, play time is all of those things, but it's also so much more. If you could take a look inside a youngster's head, you would see all the connections being made and the leaps in brain power that result in a well-rounded child skilled in socialization and cognitive growth. Here we'll explore the cognitive benefits of child's play.
The Cognitive Benefits of Child’s Play
Playing make-believe, then, is a critical element of the childhood experience, helping with not only language skills but a whole host of other social skills that are vital to learn as a small child. These behaviors include cooperating with peers, paying attention, controlling one's self, checking impulses and following rules, according to BabyCenter.
Pretend play also encourages self-regulation, as well as the ability to think about other possibilities, other ways of thinking past the norm. Observe a group of preschool kids at playtime and you'll see that blocks become castles, dolls become warlords, plastic dinosaurs become fierce creatures of the forest and blankets become oceans. What's happening here? Reality is being changed to suit the imaginations of the children, with other possible uses for standard school blocks and dollies. You can almost hear the brain cells growing.
Pretend Play Boosts Social Rules
Playful behavior boosts a child’s ability to learn, functioning as a critical mode for learning that actually helps brain cells grow and develop, according to Parenting Science. In fact, kids of all ages are better able to absorb academic lessons when given brief chances throughout the day to play and make discoveries with their own two hands. This doesn't just mean gym time at school, but rather free playtime at recess where kids are given opportunities to run and play at their own pace using their own imaginations.
While gym class is a necessary part of any school day, these classes are no substitute for free play because they don't hold the same benefits as open recess. Why? PE classes tend to be structured, with rules set forth by adults. True play means children are, of course, supervised, but from a distance where they are free to make up games, run around, explore and interact on their own terms. Studies have shown that socio-dramatic play -- play that involves pretending among a group of youngsters -- can actually improve language skills.
Playful Behavior Improves Learning
With the increasing prevalence of helicopter parents and educators who mean well by offering suggestions for safe, directed play, the art of free play could be on the attack. More and more kids are being structured in their extracurricular activities, resulting in fewer opportunities for free play both in school and after school, says BabyCenter. Many fear kids simply don't know how to play on their own anymore and are starting to lack the basic social skills and imagination that ran rampant just a generation ago.
The lack of free play on a child's development can be harmful, although this hasn't been determined conclusively. It is important to note that some researchers have suggested more kids are suffering from anxiety, depression and narcissism seemingly due to a decline in free, productive play.
No Free Play? No Good
The value of free play is being recognized not just in school yards and back yards, but in workplaces as well. From Google to LinkedIn, several corporations around the country know and encourage the value of play time while at work. The belief is that play time breeds creativity, which in turn leads to more productivity and happiness amongst workers along with an increased willingness to collaborate as a team in an environment that demands frequent free time.
The same should be happening in the life of a child. Take, for example, children's indoor playgrounds/play places. These areas can help stimulate a child's mind through creative and interactive play opportunities when children are supervised for safety but left largely to their own devices in terms of socializing and exploring the world around them.
Value of Free Play
Learning doesn't happen in a sterile environment. Rather, the chance to use the academic skills taught to them in school and at home in social settings allows youngsters to test out those theories in real time, engaging with others who share the same interests. The next time you watch your child and his friends play in the backyard, take a moment to celebrate the cognitive achievements they're all making right in front of you.
Value of Free Play