Skip to main content

Oftentimes, when we think of play, we don’t always consider it or think of it as a developmental activity, but, it’s one of the most important aspects of your child’s development. If you are aiming to raise a resilient, successful, and socially interactive child, then play should be a top priority.

However, don’t misunderstand. While all forms of play have a place in your child’s development, there are certain types of play that stand above the rest. And perhaps the best thing about the play is that it’s an easy way to motivate your child to learn. Because the little ones tend to enjoy playtime, it’s not likely they will put up a fight. So, it’s the perfect opportunity to help your child to understand and learn new concepts.

If you are someone who is working to help your little one grow into the best possible version of themselves, then do not underestimate the value of the following types of play, as parenting and play experts say they stand far above the rest.

1. Parallel play.

Parallel play is very beneficial because it is when you allow two or more little ones who are around the same age to observe one another and learn from each other. Additionally, this type of play teaches an understanding of possessions, and it helps them to learn to socialize.

2. Allow them to experience some risk.

It might be tempting to not allow your child to encounter play that involves risk. But, if you do, you are robbing your kids of important play that can be very beneficial to them. Now, let us be clear, the risk-taking play doesn’t mean putting your child in harm’s way. Healthy risks are typically things like jumping and running or spinning. This type of play teaches them to balance, helps them to build confidence, and also builds emotional strength.

3. Give them free play time.

Kids need independent free play, which may be nerve-wracking to some parents, especially those of you who are more into the helicopter parenting style. Despite how nervous it may make you, this is your child’s time to get creative and to work on social skills and problem-solving skills.

4. Make daily tasks into forms of play.

Play doesn’t always have to be stereotypical. Make chores like cooking or cleaning into playtime to help your child learn responsibility and discipline. Additionally, the practical life skills learned through doing household chores will be beneficial tenfold.

5. But, also, it’s okay if they get bored sometimes!

But, don’t underestimate free time. Parents, especially modern parents may fear hearing the phrase, “I’m bored.” However, without a little bit of time to get bored, your child will have less time to build their creativity and become more independent. Sometimes, it’s okay to be bored. It’s pretty necessary.

6. Dramatic play.

Dramatic play is when your child plays various roles. Examples of this might be playing with toy swords and pretending to be a knight. Or, allowing them to play with a doctor set, so they can pretend to be a doctor or vet. There are so many examples of this. And the benefits of this push them to be more curious and more imaginative. Additionally, it improves language skills.

7. Competitive play.

Competitive play is a play that revolves around games that have rules and guidelines and that have the outcome of someone winning. Things like Candy Land, football, soccer, or even basketball are all forms of competitive play. This type of play teaches rules, patience, and also teamwork.