The importance of playtime

Playing isn’t just for passing the time between activities; it’s actually the best way for children to discover their surroundings. Even from a very early age, when most discoveries are made by putting things in their mouths!

Up to three years of age, children play alone. It may look like two children are playing together, but in reality the activity is a ‘parallel game’ where individual activities are being carried out side by side but there is no interaction. Interaction begins to develop from nursery school age where playing together as a group is a fundamental stage of development because it allows us to make friends and learn a series of social rules.

Fictional games are important for young children so that they can process new experiences and emotions, as are physical games. Playing chase, running races and playing hide-and-seek are all excellent ways for children to let off some steam and ‘depressurise’ – just half an hour a day can make a huge difference to overall behaviour and children’s sleeping habits.

But playtime isn’t only for the kids! It’s just as important for adults to find some downtime in busy schedules and the same playtime activities can be just as beneficial for adults. Colouring in books are great for relieving stress and jigsaw puzzles and sudoku can help to improve brain function, keeping us sharp as we age. Doctors also recommend half an hour of exercise for adults every day, even if it’s just a gentle stroll.  

On Tuesday 28th May 2019 it’s World Play Day so why not make a day of it and celebrate with some quality playtime for you and your family? You can use empty kitchen roll tubes to build all manner of things, from pyramids and towers to rafts and rockets, just make sure you have some Regina Blitz to hand to help with the clean-up operation afterwards!