Today is National Play Day! Not that your little ones need any more excuses to empty their toy box all over the floor and get stuck in, but we think it is amazing to have a day dedicated to play and to highlight how important play is for your little one’s.
National Play Day is about celebrating all things play for children and highlighting how important it is for their well being. Plus, this year, Play Day is recognising the potential effects lock down and social distancing has had on children’s ability to play freely with friends. So we wanted to help celebrate by looking closer at how play can help your children and also offer some inspiration on some fun play activities they would love.
Why is play important?
You may see play as a wonderful tactic to keep your little one busy and occupied for a little while so you can run around and get some jobs done. But what you may not know is as your little one is playing they are constantly learning and engaging new skills that will help their development. When children play they are busy developing skills in all areas of their development; cognitive, physical, communication, emotional and social development. They also develop their understanding of cause and effect by making connections between actions and results. For all these reasons and more, play is key to your child’s learning, development, confidence and well being.
Children benefit the most from open-ended play that encourages them to explore and discover. Open-ended play focuses on materials or toys that can be used in multiple ways without limitations or rules. When children are given toys that have 1 use or a single solution, we are limiting the opportunity for them to develop their senses. Whereas, during open-ended play, children have the ability to make their own decisions and fully engage their creativity and imagination.
It is easier than you think to supply your child with open ended play objects. Building blocks, sand, water, arts and crafts are all amazing open-ended toys to engage your child. Learn more about open-ended play and it’s benefits here.
The world is a pretty big and fascinating place for your child and from the day they are born they are constantly exploring new and exciting things through their senses. To help their development it is important to engage these 5 senses at play time too. Stimulating the sense through play can help them to learn and discover the world around them and make better sense of it all. When thinking of play ideas, think of their 5 senses; smell, touch, sight, sound and taste, as well as their stage. As your child grows their play will also change so try to keep up and think of new and exciting ways to engage them. Take a look at our favourite sensory play ideas for play at home for each stage.
Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts is not only a brilliant opportunity for open-ended play, but it is also great for development. It let’s their creativity run wild as they are presented with a few materials and can get to work making them into a masterpiece, it also helps their fine motor skills. We love seeing just a few everyday household items get transformed into something completely new and seeing children express themselves in different and imaginative ways. Take a look at our favourite arts and craft ideas all made from things you can find in your home right now.
We want to help encourage play with toys that support children’s development for each stage. Our handpicked collection of toys are all focused on bringing families the highest quality and fun toys that children love but are also perfect for development and learning. Take a look at our play and activity collection here.