Play is considered so important to child development that the International Play Association has backing by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. The International Play Association or IPA, "is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961. IPA’s purpose is to protect, preserve and promote the child’s right to play as a fundamental human right." (IPA, 2022)
When we consider that international governments have put such a high emphasis on play, it is only natural to assume that play is essential for all children's healthy growth and development. Through play, children are able to achieve significant skill development in all areas.
When considering curriculum and activities, play should be at the foundation. Children should have access to materials such as blocks, clay, paints, books, puzzles, and other manipulatives both indoors and outdoors.
Some of the benefits of play include:
- Builds executive function skills such as:
- Working memory
- Flexible thinking
- Allows children to practice the language skills they have learned and build on their expanding vocabulary.
- While engaged in play, children increase their ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of themselves and others, and to practice those skills through their interactions.
- During play, children are moving their bodies and working skills such as:
- muscle strength
- muscle control
Want to learn more about the benefits of play and how to support children’s development through play? Visit H&H Child Care Training Center and register for one of our training courses.
"International Play Association (IPA World)". Ipaworld.Org, 2022, https://ipaworld.org/about-us/general-statement/. Accessed 11 Mar 2022.