Each year, National Playday aims to promote a different aspect of play, and this year it focuses on the many ways that play is beneficial to children.
So what exactly are the benefits of play? Isn’t it just frivolous fun?
Well, how long have you got! There’s are many, MANY benefits (and I’ll happily list lots of them for those who are interested), but for now, the official Playday website this year focuses on four:
1. Play Builds Friendships
It may sound obvious, but it’s important for children to interact and develop their social skills and play is the perfect way to do so! It isn’t just about bonding over liking the same stuff or enjoying the same activities, through play children also learn how to negotiate some of the trickier social situations like sharing, dealing with conflict, and building their tolerance – important skills!
2. Play Builds Resilience
Want to find ways to boost your child’s confidence, creativity and problem-solving? Spend some time playing! There’s no better way to build determination and perseverance, and to discover that satisfying moment of joy when you finally solve that puzzle, or finish making up that story, or attach that final piece of LEGO etc!
Resilient kids make resilient adults – better able to deal with stress and the challenges life likes to throw at us all from time to time.
3. Play Builds Health and Wellbeing
At a time when regular reports in the press tell us that children in the UK are amongst the World’s most unhappy, it’s important to highlight the huge benefits of playing for boosting wellbeing. Beyond building confidence and resilience, playing and being active boosts your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, a.k.a endorphins.
4. Play Builds Communities
With so many things that could divide us, it’s important to embrace the things that can bring us together, and play is one of the truly great unifiers. Through play, children develop their sense of identity and belonging, make connections, and learn about the world – and the people – around them. Couldn’t we all do with a bit more of that?
Take a break from the hard work of adulting!
Being playful also offers a fantastic opportunity for parents to fully engage with their children and provides a great bonding opportunity. We communicate in a more casual manner, and any minor disputes between siblings (or parents) from earlier can be put aside – it’s hard to hold a grudge when playing a fun game!
As parents and carers, the more we make a conscious effort to make time to play, the more we can help our whole family to enjoy the many, many benefits. So this Playday we hope you were able to take a break from the hard work of adulting to get down to some serious playtime.
As you can imagine, Playday is a big deal for us at Eureka! We partner with Calderdale Play Development Service to run loads of fun activities in our grounds, which are completely free for everyone to enjoy, and this year was no exception with our event being enjoyed by hundreds of families from across the region, who joined us to drum, scale a huge outdoor climbing wall and loads more.
If you weren’t able to join us to celebrate Playday this year don’t worry – we always put play at the heart of everything we do and there’s plenty of the summer holidays left, so why not join us for a playful day this summer instead?