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Play is a vital part of a child’s life, and it supports their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth.  Below are three reasons why play is important for each of these points.

  1. Physical and Motor Skills: Active play is crucial for physical development of gross and fine motor skills. Activities such as running, jumping, climbing, and playing sports help develop and refine these skills. There are multiple studies showing this. One study published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health emphasized the positive impact of play on a child’s overall physical fitness including improvement in bone health and cardiovascular fitness.


  1. Emotional and Social Skills: Play provides a space for children to express their emotions and develop emotional regulation skills. Research has shown that play supports the development of emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-control. Playing with others helps us learn valuable social skills such as cooperation, negotiation, and conflict resolution. Social interactions through play help children form healthy relationships and improve communication skills, both of which are essential for our well-being throughout life.


  1. Cognitive Development: Play allows children to stimulate their imagination, and creativity, as well as work on problem-solving skills. A study published in the journal Pediatrics in Review, found that imaginative play, such as pretending to be a different character or in a make-believe scenario, was linked to enhanced cognitive flexibility, language development, and abstract thinking. Play such as this helps children experiment with cause-and-effect relationships, develop memory, and understand complex concepts through active experiences.

Encouraging play in your child’s life should be prioritized to help promote a holistic development.  Research strongly suggests the importance of play in a child’s development, in their physical and social well-being, emotional regulation and cognitive growth.