The Importance of Play in Child Development

  • 04 Apr 2023

    From the moment your baby grabs the first rattle and grabs it with a big grin, to the moment they say "Mom, I'm going to play outside". Children learn by playing. 

    The brain develops the most in the first years of your child's life. New connections are made with each new experience. For example, children of about 2 - 3 years have more connections in the brain than an adult person. This is because all connections that we eventually do nothing with are removed again, as it were. In this way, developments in the brain continue until we are about 25 years old.

Why play is so important

    When your child is playing, you may think "great that one is busy, now I can do something about the household." But what you may not know is that when your child is playing, he is also constantly learning and going through new developments. When children play, they are developing new skills in different areas: physical, cognitive, communicative, emotional and social. They also learn to make the connection between action and reaction, if I drop this toy on the floor, what happens. By playing, your child also processes events of the day. They can act out an entire story or make up their mind about something that happened. So occasionally listen in to your child's play and find out what's hiding in his head. Play is therefore important for the development.

    Children benefit most from open ended play. It encourages them to discover and explore. Open ended play focuses on materials and toys that can be used in multiple ways, without restrictions and rules. When we give our children toys with only one goal, we limit their imagination and development. With open ended play you give your child the opportunity to make their own decisions and to be completely absorbed in their own creativity and fantasy. Open ended toys are easier to find than you think, from a box to wooden toys, there is plenty to find. 

    By playing, your child learns different skills, so we can say that play is indispensable in development. But don't forget yourself either. During play, the substance endorphins is released. This will calm you down and make you feel happier. So try to play with your child for at least half an hour a day.